We recently had the chance to interview the super talented west coast videographer / photographer @kybalionvfx to talk about his career and how he got to where he is today.
How did you get started?
I’ve been wanting to create art for as long as I can remember. I wanted to be good at drawing or sketching initially. The coolest thing in the world to me was looking at people’s in class doodles. Unfortunately for me no matter how many hours that I put into it, I couldn’t get the results I wanted. My hands just don’t hold that capability. For awhile, I wasn’t creating anything. Fast forward to my freshman year of high school. I took a digital photography class. Although I enjoyed it I wasn’t able to get the results I wanted. My friends were killing it, I was struggling to keep a C. I suppose I just kept trying because I enjoyed it more than anything. My work was kept private because it wasn’t anything I was proud of but after years of hard work I feel comfortable enough to share what I do with the world and operate a business.
When did you decide that you wanted to become a creator?
I’d say looking at other creatives and their lifestyle really made me want to do it as a business or job. I like having the freedom, I like having the final call to do what I want to do. While watching photographers like 13th Witness just exploring the world and getting paid to do it, I thought maybe I can do something similar. As much as I love creation, I love the lifestyle that it offers. Every individual can literally choose their own worth and become who they want to be. It’s more difficult to do that in the real world, it’s more difficult to get your voice heard. For me, I always felt like I had a lot to say but nobody listened. When you get a little bit of recognition as a creator it’s easier to be heard. I love that part.
What gave you the courage to start a company, speak out, become a public figure?
Starting a company, speaking out and becoming who I am today was always scary for me. I don’t think I knew what I was doing. To this day there are times where I just feel lost and don’t really have much certainty in what I’m doing. There’s always that fear, am I good enough to start a company based on creating art? Would anybody pay me? The simple answer is, you don’t know until you try. Of course, when I first started the amount of times I got paid was absolutely rare. I just kept pushing and attempting to get better with the experiences that I was having. It was hard but I think if you really love what you do the courage translates itself through the passion you put in.
Tell use more about where you are from and your background?
I’m born into a Kashmiri-Punjabi immigrant family. I was born in Florida then moved to the Bay Area when I was in my early youth. Aside from a few years I spent in Iowa for college, I’ve pretty much been in the Bay Area for a large majority of my life.
What is one of your greatest accomplishment to date? Tell us about something that you are most proud of?
Oh man. I’d say there are special people I’ve gotten the chance to work with or that have posted my work which is always super awesome. However, I think in the raw sense that isn’t my biggest accomplishment although it may seem that way. For me back when tumblr was a thing I remember waking up one morning and seeing my photo get 60,000 reposts. It’s tumblr and it doesn’t mean much but I always felt unsure about the quality of what I do. I was just really happy to know that people were enjoying my work. It sounds silly but having people hit me up to ask me about my photography and gaining a following just by posting what I do was an awesome feeling. My mood changed from being like, man I don’t know if I can do this to maybe I can do this because people like it.
What was one of your most challenging moments and how did you overcome it?
Probably working with egos. They’ll be more. Here’s the issue in art sometimes. I’ve shot with a couple really talented and popular people. They’re superstars in the music world or sports world but I’ll get sniped for credits sometimes when whatever I did gets posted. That’s pretty disrespectful to me until I realize that this is like middle school all over again. Things are clique-based and judgemental. I’ve just realized that I have to do things at my own pace to get on the same equal level as them to get recognized. But yes, it’s always frustrating when your efforts go unnoticed by hundreds of thousands or in some cases millions of people.
Next, control freaks that you have to work with sometimes. I’ve known people that have never filmed anything that feel confident to direct without any notes. It’s difficult but sometimes you just gotta suck it up, do what you can and move on. Don’t work with these kinds of people once you realize those traits. The final project will never be good and it’ll take up days of unnecessary time to get there.
Does your family support you in your efforts? How?
My immediate family, sure. To a certain extent. There’s so many things they won’t know or understand so they’ve just accepted that I’m an adult and I know what I’m doing. I’ve always said they support by not asking me questions. A lot of what I’m doing is unconventional especially for immigrants.
Extended family doesn’t support. Aunties and some cousins only pretend to support or pretend to care when they’re caught talking trash. When they get caught they don’t apologize or consider the things that they said, they’re just scared of the platform I have to share things. They’re scared of the people I keep around. They have no choice but to act fake nice until they get caught again.
Who are your favorite people and/or role models, both business and personal?
Business wise I have to go with Jay-Z. What he’s done to stay on top of his game for that extent of time is unbelievable. To not only make timeless music but make solid investments and create a new image of rap music isn’t easy.
Personal, I’m a huge basketball fan and I’m 24 years old so I’d have to go with LeBron. I grew up watching him live up to every pressure and expectation that was set out for him. It’s inspiring to see the way he’s handled media not just recently but for his entire career. He’s a man that had it all at the age of 18 but continued to work hard and keep his image completely clean. That’s awesome to me.
What message would you send to inspire all the other creators out there who look up to you?
Work, work, work. It doesn’t seem like it does much initially but the more work you put in the more opportunities start to come your way. I’ll put it this way, if you’re unsure about an idea would you rather try it to get it out there and accept the results? Or would you be that person that has a couple drinks and talks about an idea that you’ve never put into action for years?
What do you understand about the video industry that other people don’t understand?
That people like to feel important. Sometimes I don’t have the best call but if someone explains it to me on why they feel like this is best then I can get behind that. I always try to practice that when I’m in charge so people don’t feel like they aren’t being heard. Good communication is key.
What’s next for you in your career/business?
Just going to keep grinding. Hard work creates certainty. I want to do more resourceful music videos.
What does Disrupt mean to you?
Not using your mouth, using your work to hurt some feelings and take what they won’t give you.
How can people connect with you on social media?
I’m on all social medias as @kybalionvfx
Thank you again for taking the time to chat with us.
Check out @kybalionvfx’s latest music video he directed, Jamal Jordan – Pay Attention below. Enjoy!
Multi-Millionaire Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur Reveals All-Hustle, Failure and Success
From humble beginnings to building a thriving trading career and diversifying into other businesses- Nenad continues to conquer every industry he sets his eyes on. A serial entrepreneur, angel investor, philanthropist, trader- he continues to inspire millions and create millionaires in his industry.
Who else do you know that not only has made millions but has helped others become successful? He is also the CEO of Advance Crypto Academy– the #1 Online Platform in North America that has 16,000 members that have access to the most updated information on crypto and forex.
Today we sit down with Neno to discuss how he continues to build an empire and achieve success at the young age of 25:
Neno- thank you for your time, how did this all start?
I had big dreams as a young kid. Immigrating at the age of 2 from Serbia while there was a war during 1992 forced my parents to start life all over again in Canada. While my dad was successful back home, in Canada to make ends meet and provide for the family- he started a Construction and Renovation company servicing ultra-high net worth individuals;
I was amazed by the wealth and the appearance of the homes my dad was working on. During the night time, my mom worked a job to help my father out and ensure we had enough. While helping my dad for free and working at his shop, I began to realize the value of money.
I absolutely hated school- the social circles, the useless gossip- I despised every moment of it. I attended college but I dropped out after 2 months because I was against the traditional education system and I never understood why I should be listening to the professor when he wasn’t rich and didn’t live the lifestyle that I aspired to live. I knew I was destined for more and I took the risk and dropped out.
I googled how to be rich and came across 2 books “Rich Dad Poor Dad” along with “Think and Grow Rich” which taught me the mindset of the wealthy and opened me up to a new world.
I was always a risk-taker. I would rather take a chance and fail vs dying, knowing that I never took a chance. I am not afraid to go homeless while going after my dreams. The saying “You miss 100% of the shots you never take” is real. I am willing to die for my dreams.
How did you get into trading?
I got a full-time job in the sales and finance department in a head office of a company in Oakville selling products like computers, home furniture, and other things. The goal for me was to work and save my own money but I was starting to realize that it was difficult to do so because of my income=my expenses. I needed another way out.
“On my way to success, I always asked myself the difference between the richest man in America and the poorest man. I realized it was a fine line of knowing information followed by application. Warren Buffett knows the art of making money and applies it. He may not have the highest IQ but knowing how to apply information and knowledge has made him billions”
I made the company I was working for $2.2 million in 2 years but my salary was about $50,000 after taxes which led me to the realization of 2 things:
- My income was spent on covering my expenses and I could barely save anything.
- A 9-5 was not going to help me save enough money to get rich
“THERE WAS A TIME DURING THIS PROCESS- I REMEMBER 1 DAY WALKING INTO MY CAR AND IT FELT LIKE I HAD 1000 POUNDS ON MY SHOULDER, I WAS ABSOLUTELY DEPRESSED AND NEEDED A WAY OUT”
A friend introduced me to an MLM opportunity and I learned about the power of residual income and using other people to leverage time. The concept of working ½ the time and make more money if not equivalent to my job excited me. After not being as successful I later joined another company and started earning $1000/month but started becoming stagnant in the process.
On Instagram, I saw an individual that had the lifestyle- nice watches and I messaged him asking “What do you do ?” He met me at a mall and he showed me the power of Forex and how he made $75,000 in 3 days, I was floored and couldn’t believe it.
It was not easy to trade and I didn’t succeed for the first 3 years and had some personal problems which led me to take a break after. After starting a landscaping and shisha lounge which wasn’t fun to run- I decided to figure this forex thing out and had an epiphany. Something clicked, and I started making profits with my first big month being $12,000.
“Trading is 90% psychology and 10% analytics”
At 19, I told myself that by 23 I needed to have $1M and a supercar. One week before my 23rd birthday- I had a gold Lamborghini and $1M. For me, it was either I get rich or die trying in the process- there was no other option.
How did you get involved in Bitcoin?
In early 2017, I needed to diversify my money and a couple of people approached me asking about BTC. I decided to research the tech behind this and understand the application even further. I was introduced to one of my friend’s partners who flipped a $6,000 account to $32M. I made $1M in 9 months and I introduced my friends to it and they made money in crypto to.
I later launched Advance Crypto Academy due to the popular demand from the results my clients received. In addition- people wanted to know how I achieved success and I am very transparent with my trades. If you go on my Instagram stories- you will see tonnes of results and testimonials of people that succeed with my trades.
How do you want people to remember you?
I want those close to me to have memories of the good times they spent with me- the times I made them smile and laugh. In addition, I want to make every person around me a better person and create that spark of inspiration in others to go and follow their dreams.
You have a dream? Go out and make it happen.
Meet the Man Behind the Real Estate Business Doing over $100 Million a Year
Business is a game of risks, and it takes one with tough skin to venture into the industry. The markets are unpredictable, and there’s no telling when economic collapse may hit. Businesses like real estate are the most affected by economic collapse, and no one knows this better than Dean Aguilar.
Aguilar literary came from nothing to become a seven-figure digital entrepreneur and one of the most sought after speakers on sales and mindset coaching. He is the CEO of Digital Muse and founder of Xavier Dean Realty and Dean Aguilar Group. Digital Muse is a brand consulting agency emphasizing on social media execution, while the other two are Real Estate companies. Aguilar has been through a market collapse and came out a winner, that’s what sets him apart from many entrepreneurs.
Dean Aguilar at a Glance
Aguilar comes from an immigrant family, and this was the first challenge he had to overcome. His father is Pakistani while his mother is from Argentina where they migrated from in 1972. They didn’t have much and lived in a one-bedroom house in Washington DC and later moved near to Falls Church, Virginia. Life was hard, and at some point, Aguilar was homeless for three months.
His family depended on welfare and food stamps. Facing those tribulations of being an immigrant pushed him to the wall, and he knew he had to do better.
At 13, Aguilar started bagging groceries and making three dollars an hour. He then developed a passion for fitness after turning 15. Shortly after Aguilar began doing personal training at a local gym and this gave him some experience in sales. Aguilar sharpened his sales skills quite fast, and by the time he was turning 21, he was running a fitness business with 61 employees.
While still in the fitness business, he met a mentor who was in Real Estate business and joined him as the lead agent in his mentor’s team. That is where his sales skills came in handy; he was making $300,000 a year selling over $20 Million in Real Estate per year by the time he was 26.
Rising From the Ashes
At this point in his life, Aguilar did not know that his biggest challenge as an entrepreneur was right around the corner. In 2008 a total collapse of the United States housing market happened.
He knew he had to reinvent, and that’s what he did. Aguilar fought his way through the market collapse to make even more.
After the Real Estate market collapse, he went back to the fitness industry.
The first thing he did was set up two fitness studios in Los Angeles, California. He did this for a while, learned a new skill in REO, and turned his attention back to Real Estate, specifically the California market. Surviving the market collapse created new opportunities for Aguilar. In 2012, he started mentoring other entrepreneurs on scaling their businesses and working through an economic collapse.
Achievements and Future Ambitions
After surviving the market collapse, it has only gotten better and better for Aguilar. He went on to scale his business team, “Dean Aguilar Group,” and make $70 Million in sales annually. With this turning out to be a success, he launched Xavier Dean Realty, and it caught the attention of major news publications including Inman News, Fox News LA, American Dream show, Lifestyles Tv Show and Tim Macy Show, a podcast. Aguilar has also been featured in Forbes, Inc, Bussiness.com, Future Sharks, Kivo Daily, Thrive Global, Succeed, Huffpost, Buzzfeed and Medium.
He gained 1000 followers every month across social media and in 2018 launched Digital Muse. The company is getting significant contracts with the top Fitness and Real Estate Brokerages in the country. Currently, Aguilar manages over $100 Million in revenue annually. He is also focusing more on his brand with three central beliefs, Mind, Body, and Action. Through all this, he always had a dream to lead and help others. Aguilar’s ambition is to impact and inspire millions.
Aguilar has proven to be a real entrepreneur by passing the ultimate test of a businessman. He has built his empire up from the ground and did it all over again. There is no doubt Aguilar can do it a couple of more times. He is truly a genius in his field and is giving back by training other entrepreneurs to do what he did.
How Jawad Malik Built a Successful Footwear Brand on a Shoestring Budget
Jawad Malik built a premium custom footwear brand, which has garnered the love of thousands of customers and influencers across the world, with limited resources and while working a full-time job. We discuss the inception of IDRESE with Jawad, the difficulty of navigating a new business, and what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
The concept of IDRESE draws inspiration from a traditional European custom in which customers would walk into a cobbler shop to choose the colors, materials, and model type of their desired custom shoe. Cobblers would then take the customer’s specifications and handcraft the shoes. Jawad translated this model online and made it accessible worldwide.
He didn’t compromise quality for convenience, IDRESE shoes are handcrafted in Almansa, which is the shoemaking capital of Spain. The process takes a team of 50+ craftsmen and over 165 steps to make a single Goodyear welted shoe.
Developing the brand did not come easy. “As I was building IDRESE, I never had a solid plan of attack,” Jawad says, “I had no real idea on how to go about it, but what I knew was that in order for the business to go from being a dream to reality I had to fuel it somehow and by doing so I had to have a few things, like a consistent stream of income, a good supplier relationship, branding strategy, and effective marketing.”
Kickstarting the business took long hours and many side hustles. “When IDRESE was just an idea, the pursuit to make it a brand seemed almost impossible – I did not know where to start or if I could even afford to pursue it.” Jawad took a full-time job with a liquidation company and worked rideshare to fuel the brand.
“On my time off I contacted manufacturers and suppliers from all around the world to negotiate terms that I could manage within my constraints, which were lack of cash-flow and inventory space.” Jawad knew that, although his funds were limited, his idea was big and he could make it work through hard work and dedication. “After two and a half years, I was able to secure the production side for my custom footwear idea through cold calling and traveling to meet manufacturers.”
After securing the production and distribution side of the business, Jawad still had to tackle branding IDRESE. “I needed the shoe boxes, logo designs, web development, and many other aspects of branding, but all those things were expensive in the US, so I outsourced.” Jawad found that he could work within his strict budget and find talented designers outside of the United States market.
Jawad knew it would take a lot of market knowledge and research to start his business, so he mastered the market IDRESE operates in. “Get to know your market intimately so that you know what you are getting into,” Jawad advises other young entrepreneurs, “ask yourself questions like, ‘is the market saturated?’ ‘Who are my customers?’ ‘What value am I adding?’ ‘How am I going to effectively convey my message to my audience?’”
Entrepreneurship is not glamorous – it requires long hours, prolonged moments of frustration, and many unexpected learning curves. “Be open to adversity. It is a difficult road and hardships are the unavoidable tuition that you pay,” Jawad says. “But hard work and the continuous need to learn new things in your market will help you overcome all obstacles.”
Jawad believes it is important to keep a balance between prioritizing the bottom-line with his business ethics. “Morals and ethics are, by far, the most important features an entrepreneur must-have,” he states. “You must always treat your employees, customers, and partners with respect. To have such standards sets the tone for the culture you wish to create within your company and removes ego, which is detrimental to any start-up.”
There are many components and moving parts to take a business from idea to conception. Between the knowledge, money, time, and logistics, Jawad shows that building and operating a business is about navigating challenges and believing in yourself. “Accept challenges, keep learning, and remember that improvement is a never-ending process”.
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