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featured - Steven Cox | San Diego, CA

Keep Running

By Business Philosophy, Motivational 2 Comments

I just got back from a five mile run along San Diego’s waterfront. The sun was out, the skies clear, and The Chemical Brothers blasted at perfect volume through my iPod.

Yet, for whatever reason, I struggled. Every step was difficult, and every mile challenging.

A few times, I felt like stopping and taking a breather underneath one of the giant sycamore’s.

But, I didn’t. I just kept running.

Not as fast as normal, not as fluid as others that passed me. At time, I had to slow down the pace. But I just kept running.

As I rounded my last turn and headed for my finish, I realized that my business is a lot like my running.

Sometimes it’s easy and fluid. Other time, each step feels like climbing a mountain.

So many others get winded, other get frustrated, and they quit – never experiencing the sheer joy of overcoming. But if you just keep running, you’ll eventually round that last turn and be able to cross your own finish line.

Just Keep Running…

Charisma – Richard Branson Style

By For Fun, Goals, Leadership, Life Lessons, Motivational No Comments

My buddy, Nadav Wilf, just got back from an incredible trip to Neckar Island with Richard Branson. I was offered to go, but there wasn't a guarantee that Mr. B was going to be there, so I took a pass. (I have another blog post brewing about my own issue of saying 'no' to too many things, but that will have to wait for another day).

Here is his facebook post on what he learned from Richard last week.

"Charisma: what makes some people charismatic and others not? Genes? Good looks? What does a person like Richard Branson have that we may not? Consider that charisma is simply being present for others. Being a space for others to get who they really are, what is possible for them to achieve and who they can be for others. I had the pleasure of getting to spend time with Richard this past week and the man is a present and authentic. He can pick up the phone and be with anyone in the world, and he genuinely wants to be with you…that's true charisma and we all have it:) Love you all for who you are."

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Make a Shift – Spend More Time on Things You Love

By Goals, Life Lessons 3 Comments

In our latest Mastermind meeting, rockstar motivator John Assaraf stated that he was dedicated to spending more of his time on things that he loves vs. things that are tolerable or downright a drag.

I made a visual representation that I think is applicable to everyone's life.

Spend more time doing things you love. This includes at work. Find jobs that fuel your natural talent and curiosity. It makes life so much better!

Spend Time

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Happy Birthday to my Grandfather

By Love No Comments

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 I’d like to give a Happy Birthday shout out to the most respectable, honest, and decent man I know.

My grandfather turns 88 years young today. He still goes hunting once a week, raises a garden, mows the lawn, and washes dishes for Grandma. He always has a kind word to say.

You are a true role model and friend. From you, I have learned the value of working hard, keeping my word, and treating everyone with respect.

Thank you for being such a good example to me and everyone you come in contact with.

Why I started my company

By Entrepreneur Insights, Music, Start-Ups One Comment

Enrique was a top-notch musician. He had gotten a music performance degree a few years back, and followed his passion into music. He played all over San Diego, and was the drummer for our regional-touring rock band, Across The Room.

One Saturday afternoon, the band had just finished an acoustic set at a sea-side coffee house. I was the band’s very bad lead singer, and I invited him to join me for a margarita (no salt). Enrique couldn’t go because he had to quickly pack up his drums, go fill up his tank, and drive 30 minutes to another part of town. He was giving drum lessons to a 12-year old at the student’s home.

An hour later, I was sipping the margarita (Patrone) when he got the call. Enrique had driven over to the student’s home, and no one was home. He waited, tried calling, but they were a no show. Frustrated, Enrique drove back to the Mexican cantina and ordered a double.

Enrique’s Struggle

There, I talked with Enrique about the music business, and the teaching business. He explained to me how difficult it was for him to find students, and for students to find him. You see, most of us who have a passion for music, dance, or another creative outlet are just beginners, and we have no idea where to go, what to look for, and how to learn. So, what happens is we order a DVD, or try to download some guitar tabs, get frustrated, and quit without finding our true artist within.

After we calculated the marketing, the flyers (hanging up at the grocery store), gas money, the no-shows, and the wear & tear on his equipment, we found that Enrique was making less than minimum wage.

I was shocked! Here was my good friend, my band partner, and an unbelievably talented and accomplished artist making less than a Burger King drive-thru worker.  He and his wife just had a new baby, and between changing diapers, working a second job, waiting for no-show students, and rehearsing to keep up his art, he barely had time to build his own business and find his own students.

What We Do

It was this day I decided to start the business. It was started out of a genuine desire to help creative people connect with each other. We didn’t have the funds or people to blow out an entire active social network, and we would have wrestled with the cold start problem even if we did. So we built slowly – one user at a time.

Over the past 20 months, we’ve matched enough students to fill a football stadium. These people not only create online friends, but real-world connections. And while that’s all good (especially with no financial backing), we’re looking to take our business to the next level.

Most music and creative sites are chasing the artists who are really good, cut albums, and need to market themselves. This makes up 3-4% of the entire body of creative enthusiasts. What we do is give a home to the other 96%.

While it’s much more glamorous to be associated with a rock star, we feel there is a bigger unmet demand for the dude trying to figure out how to string a guitar.