Rodney (@rodneybwilliams) was born deaf and started his first business at a young age renting out kids magazines to parents at his mom’s hair salon. Rodney has gained his hearing is now the co-founder of LISNR which uses in-audible sound technology to create new ways for brands to interact with customers and has attracted clients such as Budweiser, Roc Nation and Sony and recently raised $3.5 million in funding.
You’ll hear Rodney discuss his path to building a 22 person team, the confidence that comes from being confident, and that if you’re thinking about going after your dreams, stop thinking.
“I’m breaking rules. My company is breaking rules. Even the type of CEO I am – I break rules. I tend to walk in and I look like the intern, or something else, but I’m not, and I’m actually about to blow you away and you’re going to be giving me a check or two.” – Rodney Williams
During high school Alex (@alexstrohl) got kicked out…which turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to him as it led to his passion for photography.
Alex is now a full-time world traveling photographer with over half a million Instagram followers and collaborates with brands such as Canon and Land Rover for himself and his creative agency, Stay & Wander.
You’ll hear Alex discuss his path to photographic freedom, the compass of curiosity, and that to live the life you want you just gotta design it.
“My dad always said, ‘You have to challenge luck for it to work.’ And that’s inspired me.” – Alex Strohl
Angel Aponte (@Onhel) graduated high school at the bottom of his class with no idea what to do with his life.
After realizing he could make music a career he made music his life.
Four years later Onhel found himself engineering tracks for Swizz Beatz on Beyonce’s B Day album and is now Lil Wayne’s recording engineer and produces out of his studio in Union City, New Jersey.
You’ll hear Onhel discuss how he made his way into the music business, the importance of extra effort and that when an opportunity presents itself, take it.
“I never left the studio. I would shower there, I would have my mail delivered there, I never left.” – Onhel
At 14 years old Amanda (@LuvAj) interned at a local jewelry store.
At 15 she launched her own jewelry business, Luv Aj, which is now available in retailers worldwide and worn by dozens of celebrities.
You’ll hear Amanda discuss how she built a business while still in high school, the importance of continuous problem solving, and that everything you need to start is right in front of you.
“When it’s your baby and it’s something that you’ve built from the ground up and it’s something that you love it doesn’t even feel like work.” – Amanda Thomas
Ilya (@IlyaNeverSleeps) arrived to the US from Russia at 8 years old not knowing how to speak English.
The discovery of the world of computers set Ilya on a high velocity path of entrepreneurship where he’s now building his third tech business. The first being the web design agency, Ciplex, which he started in high school and has been featured in the Inc 500 list, the social greeting card company, Open Me, which currently has millions of users, and his latest project, Pluto TV, is the closest thing we have here on Earth of a TV version of internet video and recently raised $13 million in funding.
You’ll hear Ilya discuss his journey of non-stop business growth, the importance of surrounding yourself with the highest quality people possible and that there’s never been a better day to start a project than today.
“I’ve always strived to look up to people that are better and smarter than me.” – Ilya Pozin
During college Chelsea (@chelseamatthews) knew she wanted to do her own thing, but wasn’t sure what that would be.
Chelsea is now the founder of her own digital marketing agency, Matte Black, which helps businesses connect with twenty-somethings through social media by running their Instagram accounts and pairing them with online influencers. Matte Black has 21 current clients and this year is expanding to the UK.
You’ll hear Chelsea discuss her path to creating an agency with 8 full-time employees, the magic of letting people know what you want, and that the best time to face your fear, is right now.
“Just start projecting what you want, because it is so amazing what comes back your way.” – Chelsea Matthews
Brian (@brianbattstudios) grew up with a love for drawing and art and thought he’d be a magazine illustrator when he was older. After realizing that world wasn’t for him he continued to paint on the side and in 2008 Brian left his desk job to focus on painting full-time. Brian’s work has since been featured in New York, LA, Miami and London.
You’ll hear Brian discuss his path to becoming a full-time artist, the importance of daily discipline, and that to have your work reach the world you gotta share it with the world.
“The secret is hard work.” – Brian Batt
Amanda (@amandaseales) is an all-around creative talent. Follow me now: She grew up as a child actor on Nickelodeon, became a spoken word poet in college, then a Sirius Radio host, then an MTV VJ, then a solo recording artist, and is now a comedian & writer performing around the country and on TV.
You’ll hear Amanda discuss the ups and downs of the creative journey, the importance of sticking to your strengths, and that to get to where you want to go you gotta get out of your own way.
“Keep people around you who believe in you more than you believe in you.” – Amanda Seales
Through high school Carson (@carsonyiu) was unsure of his path in life, but had acquired a love for food and cooking.
Carson is now the founder of Outer Borough which sells its signature beef rolls at the Smorgasburg Food Market in Brooklyn.
You’ll hear Carson discuss his path from passion to creation, the importance of authenticity, and that the best way to be ready for opportunities is to be making the most of the ones right in front of you.
“You want to have that first class of thinking. If you say it, even if you’re not doing it, you believe in it, and you gotta go work for it.” – Carson Yiu
Ever since he was little LaQuan (@laquan_smith) wanted to be in fashion, but after high school he wasn’t accepted into New York’s fashion schools.
LaQuan made his own way into the fashion world and in 2010 at 21 years old he launched his own line (LaQuan Smith) which is now worn by Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez.
You’ll hear LaQuan discuss his journey from outside-looking-in to being featured in Vogue, the importance of having the right team, and that the more you learn the further you’ll go.
“Go beyond the limits in finding who you are.” – LaQuan Smith