Monthly Archives: January 2015

Coming to NYC with $400, leaving with millions

New York city is a concrete jungle that will inspire you to achieve new heights in life, at least that is how this song says it best. The reality though is that you can make it anywhere you just need passion, creativity, and know-how. The only reason why New York city is the example here is because it is such a hard city to survive in. The cost of living there is so high that if you are not making at least $140k a year then you are struggling, as studies have shown.

The reality thought is that millions of people come to NYC with nothing in their pocket but walk away with more money then they imagined. If anyone remembers how Madonna made it, she was just a girl who was headed for New York and once there asked a Taxi cab to drop her off in Time Square with $35 in her pockets and look where she is at today, which there was a movie made about her and that journey. If I was to tell you all the stories of immigrants who came to America, seeing the Statue of Liberty for the first time, knowing that this was the land where dreams came true

this article would never end. It’s hard to imagine coming to any new place with barely any money and striking it rich like so many have already done.

The truth is that many people can do it. They just need to have the passion to want to do it. That is what separates the followers from the leaders. Every student knows that if they work hard they can achieve whatever they want, the reality though is that when things get tough many just drop out. They find themselves a job that makes ends meet and figure that is good enough for them, but the truth is they are always wanting more but they know it will never come. This is why so many people love playing the lottery because it gives them hope that someday their ship will come in and all will be fixed. This article is about one guy who didn’t wait for his ship to come in but instead went out and created his own fleet of ships.

What is Passion?
Passion is that one thing inside of you that pushes you to want and do more. It drives you every morning to get out of bed early and work on what makes you happy. It motivates you when someone tells you no for the fiftieth time but you keep pushing on anyway. Everyone has passion at a young age because you have nothing to worry about except school, friends, and having fun so there are no limits to what you can achieve. This is why parents, the good ones at least, push their kids to work hard and do what they want in life. The reality though is when you keep getting those bad grades on your tests and you have no idea why. The students who start to lose passion at a young age are the ones that figure they can not achieve anything no matter how hard they work. This is where the flaws of our education systems shine bright. The kids who need the most help never receive it unless they go out and ask for it. Their level of motivation to learn and their passion to want more drops every school year, not because they are not trying, but because they didn’t know what was available to them.

Passion is about finding your options in life that everyone is given. Many people don’t realize all the things out there that you can use for free to get you what you want in life, you just have to have the know-how to do it. That is how this one man came to New York with no place to live, no job, and just a phone in his pocket turned himself into a star because he knew what was available to him. That is when he started to turn things around, all within a short period of time.

The beginnings of a Social Media Star
Jerome Jarre is by no means your everyday person in life and at the same time he is. He wasn’t always outgoing, as his mom Agnès Jarre, said about her son growing up. This was someone who was constantly bullied, very shy, and mostly kept to himself. He grew up in Albertville, which was a small little place in France, hence why he knows french. His English was not great so he had another challenge to deal with when he arrived in the states but was always working on it where he traveled. He had trouble communicating with people but with a city like NYC it is very easy to find the little enclave of French residents and still make his way but he knew he needed to keep to the whole city not just one part of it.

Jerome did go to college but his passion and drive taught him that he needed to get out so he dropped out when he was 19 and traveled. He went to China and Canada starting many companies along the way. The one thing he taught himself well was how to travel for cheap, a skill that is very important to learn because he has been able to see so many places now, long before his success. His passion and drive also led him to create many startup companies that have failed. But what is the best teacher in life, besides this person and life itself? Failure, and those who learn from their failures are destined not to repeat them. Robert F. Kennedy put it best, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” There are too many people I have met in life who use excuses to get out of doing anything that might lead to success. I’ve always wondered why because if you always deprive yourself of any opportunity then what exactly are you trying to achieve in life?

Jerome did not have it easy when he started in New York City, he slept on anything he could find, office spaces, open areas, and probably even benches. Yes, he was homeless when he started in New York so he had to make do with whatever he could find. He knew coffee shops and any place with an outlet was important so he knew to keep those places in mind. In the meantime he kept up with his social media stuff, texting family and friends, posting updates online and just going about his day. It wasn’t until a little app called VIne came out that he suddenly found his calling. The app debuted on jan 24, 2013 and he downloaded it right away and learned how to use it. The everyday people look at things as they are, dreamers look at things for what they could be and that is exactly what Jerome saw in the Vine App. He spent the rest of the day learning all the different things he could do with it and going out and just making these 6 second videos. His first couple of videos weren’t that great but he posted them anyway getting very little attention, which was something he figured would happen in the beginning. Either way he knew this little app would change his life.

Making People Laugh
Laughter is the best medicine for anything so I don’t know why doctor don’t prescribe it more, oh yea, it doesn’t make any money for the pharm companies but that’s for another story. Jerome knew the powerful influence laughter has in social media when he started recording videos that made people laugh. In one clip he posted, he asked “why is everybody afraid of love,” and that is when his whole life changed. He discovered the power of making people laugh online and from then on he challenged himself to go out everyday and make more videos and post ones that were funny. Soon he had thousands of people following him and then millions. He eventually was asked to appear on Ellen, which you can watch below.

So how did he do it? He challenged himself to make videos with random people. Many people are afraid of just saying hi to someone they don’t know so imagine the pressure on himself to get out of his comfort zone and just make a fool of himself in NYC? The reality though is that you see this kind of thing all the time in a place like NYC because everyone there is trying to become a star. The challenge to create something everyday is the same method for everything else that is great in life. Genius doesn’t happen naturally, nor does talent, only hard work and determination create those two aspects of one’s self.

They tell you that if you want to be a writer, write everyday.
If you want to be an athlete, workout and practice everyday.
If you want to make music, play something everyday.
If you want to make people laugh, practice writing jokes/performing something funny everyday.
If you want to be a photographer, take pictures everyday.
If you want to create an app, practice coding everyday.
If you want to get good at math, practice math everyday.
If you want to win a race, run everyday.
If you want to be the best at anything, practice it EVERYDAY!

Jerome made it a point to do something everyday until he got what he wanted and then posted it. Sometimes he had nothing to post and other times he had gold. He didn’t let his failures get in his way, he kept pushing himself to work harder. Along the way he met many people form the videos he made but he always made sure to introduce himself afterwards to the person and let them know what he was doing. Yes he had his fair share of people who didn’t think what he was doing was funny but many did and that is all that counts.

The old adage is still true and will always be true, “if you can get someone to laugh, you can sell them anything.” Laughter is very powerful and important to have in life. The reason why I wrote about the deaths of Robin Williams and Joan Rivers is because we need comedians in our lives. They show us the truth to ourselves in a way that we can laugh at ourselves. Jerome does this in a whole new way and that is why so many people love him for it. He shares his joy of life through all his social media accounts getting people to see the joy and wonder of going out and enjoying this amazing planet.

Success in the End
Jerome worked hard when most people would have thought of going back home where it is safe and they have a place to sleep. His English made it hard sometimes to get people to understand him so he made another effort that separates the doers from the dreamers. He would listen to the audiobook “Crush It!” by Gary Vaynerchuk to help improve his English speaking skills, the same way an English speaker would listen to Spanish books or watch movies. This taught him proper pronunciation and dialect and so on. He knew he had to keep working to improve himself and reading books like that are a great start to finding your passion in life. He did this everywhere he traveled.

Gary Vaynerchuk is someone that he would eventually go on to meet and partner with. They both created an advertising agency called GrapeStory, that focuses on Vine, Instagram, and SnapChat Stars, just like Niche does except they work with all social media platform stars. Jerome has such passion in his life that it didn’t take long for Mr. Vaynerchuk to see that this was someone that knew what he was doing. Remember he didn’t go to college and complete those courses that teach you about this stuff, he just went out and taught himself and based on the feedback he got he would go back and improve it. He is now considered a social media expert and professional and is paid a lot of money for it.

Jerome has been offered millions of dollars from many companies, one he turned down, but more have offered. Jerome has shown that hardwork, passion, and know-how is all it takes to make it in this world. You only need a college degree if you don’t know what you are doing and need direction with specific training, otherwise anyone can be anything they want, they just have to want it bad enough to make it all happen. Jerome now travels with other famous social media stars meeting all his fans, or as he likes to call them “friends,” and even though he knows that he is famous now, it still amazes him to see the amount of people who come out to see him. He has since gone one to accumulate the same mass following on his Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat accounts. SnapChat is a platform he enjoys more because it gives him more time to record a movie or story.

SO…have you always dreamed of being that awesome wildlife photographer? Take more trips to the zoo or backwoods and take pictures. Ever thought about writing that movie script? Take the weekend to sit down and just write. Many great movies have been written in a period of 48 hours, it just takes a lot of self-discipline and dedication. Jerome has taught us that you do not need a lot of money, you don’t even need a fancy house/apt, a job, and you don’t even need to speak English all that well to make it in America. You just have to know what is around you, the curiosity to learn it all, and the drive to make it all happen. If you can keep it up, anything is possible.

News Articles

College Dropout Reveals how he became internet celebrity

Jerome Jarre: The making of a Vine Celebrity

Meet the first Viral Snapchat stars

A Day with Jérôme Jarre: How the Snapchat Gets Made

Hollywood and Vine

Jerome Jarre Vine Page

Instagram Page

YouTube Page

Wikipedia Page

Facebook Page

Want to Join the Startup Crowd? Be Sure to Attend these events

Austin is known as one of the best cities to start up a company in. This is because of the large talent pool of young people, immense focus on technology, and a huge startup community. If I was to tell you about all the places you could go to learn a skill for free you would think I was making all of this up. There are places you can go to learn programming for free, places where they will teach you how to use a 3-D printer and build your own stuff, and places where people can networking and build their connections for free.

If you are someone that wants to meet entrepreneurs, learn about what companies are about to launch, what companies recently started, or just want to be in the know, then you will want to attend all the events I have listed down below. People need people to connect and build their ideas so staying home doesn’t help any. Maybe you are stuck on building an app and you don’t know how to fix your problem, there is a meetup group that can help you with that and its free to attend. I won’t list it here but this just goes to show that you need to get out more and learn why Austin is a great city to explore because once you find out the kind of resources this city has to offer there is no reason to be at home during the week when there are so many programs happening everyday. If you haven’t already, be sure to set up a meetup account as you will need that in order to RSVP for the events listed below.

Startup Weekend – Feb 6 – 8, 2015
Location: Capital Factory  701 Brazos Street, Austin, TX 78701
This is a program where you get to take your idea and turn it into something within 54 hours. You will be put with a team of highly motivated developers, designers and entrepreneurs to collaborate on new projects and to bring that idea to life. Afterwards you will present to a panel of judges and possible investors. Be sure to check out the website for all the details and buy your tickets ahead of time.

This program is great for anyone needing that extra push to make your idea a reality with the support from mentors and your team.

Buy Tickets Here

Co-Founders Wanted Meetup – Every Second Monday – 6-30 – 8:30
Location: Capital Factory  701 Brazos Street, Austin, TX 78701
This program is designed to help you find your co-founder for a startup idea you have. You can meet developers, engineers, and business people. Come watch other startups pitch their idea to potential co-founders. The idea is for people to come pitch and hopefully find someone in the audience who wants to work with you. Great networking event looking to get into the wonderful world of startups and business.

Fee to attend is $12 per person. For Developers (software, hardware), UI/UX designers get in for free. You can pay online or at the door for a fee of $15. Be sure to RSVP for any date you plan to attend.

If you wish to present your pitch you can apply at this link

Interactive Networking Party by TechMap – March 13, 2015 – 7- 9 pm
Location: Russian House NaZdorovye 307 East 5th St, Austin TX
This interactive networking program is open to anyone that wishes to meet entrepreneurs and startups in person and make connections. Make sure to get there early to find parking.

This event is free to anyone interested in attending. Be sure to RSVP with your meetup account.

Pre-SXSW Startup Crawl 2015 – March 12, 2015 – 5 – 10 pm
Location: Capital Factory  701 Brazos Street, Austin, TX 78701

Grab a group of friends and take the shuttle from startup to startup for a free beverage, to drop off a resume, see office space or just kick back before SXSW starts on Friday.

Open to the public. No badge required. RSVP for more information and to receive your starting point by March 9, 2015


Startup Grind – Every First Tuesday – 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Location: Capital Factory  701 Brazos Street, Austin, TX 78701

Are you looking to connect more with startup companies? Maybe meet more entrepreneurs in your community to see what kind of projects they are looking to start? This monthly meetup group, powered by Google for Entrepreneurs, is a great networking event. They offer interviews of current entrepreneurs, mixers, and conference news on other programs to attend.


So if you have been looking for hard-core networking events that won’t waste your time then these are ones you need to look into attending. Make sure you won’t waste poeple’s time either when networking. Follow the five minute rule and then meet someone else. Make sure to have your website, if you have one made, updated and ready to show people, or maybe your LinkedIn page. Be sure to bring plenty of cards to hand out to people but just remember only pass them out to people you think are worth the connection. This is a great site to help you get started creating your business cards.

Attend these events regularly and who knows you might meet someone who gets what your trying to do and you end up creating a company together. Capital Factory is a great launching pad for presenting your idea and getting it out there. Make sure to check all the events on the calendar of this website as I only highlighted just a few out of the many coming up this semester. If you are looking to work for a startup check out this website.

If you need help with your networking skills here are a few books to read before jumping right into the mix of things. Don’t read these books lightly, read them as if you were studying for a test.

Networking Books

The Fine Art of Small Talk – Debra Fine

How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less – Nicholas Boothman

The Art of Mingling – Jeanne Martinet

How to Work a Room – Susan RoAne

Never Eat Alone – Keith Ferrazzi

Effortless Small Talk: Learn How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere… Even If You’re Painfully Shy – Andy Arnott

Networking Like A Pro –  Ivan Misner

Interactive Environments Coming Soon

Sci-fiction is getting harder and harder to make-believe with so much of it becoming real now. The next latest thing to come out will make phones a thing of the past. Why worry about carrying a device like a phone with you when you can just wear a headset that will let you make calls and more?

The challenge for Hollywood is getting harder and harder for them to stay ahead of the curve because so much of it is becoming real. We now have self-tying shoes, clothes that acts as an MP3 player, and even portable devices that can diagnose our health at that very moment. Technology is becoming more of something we interact with and less a passable thing. The movie Her showed how personal digital assistants and operating systems will be the kinds of things we live with. It won’t be just that you interact with them at home you will take them with you to work, vacation, and anywhere else you go.

The Convergence of Two Technologies
The running start that Siri, Cortana, and Google Now has shows how far we will go when it comes to finding the answers we need at a moments notice. The technology that Cortana and Google Now have both show that they remember what we said before, the kinds of things we do when we are in certain places, and understand how to interpret that to predict what we might need as we are going about our lives. In five years it will be common for Cortana to automatically respond to you when talking to yourself about what else you might need before going shopping for groceries. Google Now already has it to where when you turn your phone on it shows you what you were going to ask it. Accessing information will be a proactive thing that digital assistants will be required to do. So where does that leave our physical environments?

This is where virtual reality comes in and why Facebook and Microsoft have taken charge in leading the way. Google made it apparent when they came out with Google Glasses because it shows just how useful that is versus always having to take out your phone for something. Why do that when your field of vision can carry “apps” that automatically activate for certain activities. Imagine looking at an object and knowing the molecule makeup of that object? This would be very helpful when shopping in the grocery store and you are trying to pick out the best piece of fruit. Well we have those devices now but they will slowly be integrated into wearable technology because it only makes sense. It makes no sense for an astronaut to carry around all these devices that do separate things when he could just look in his visor and turn on each program he wants to use. So what would something like that look like and will we ever get there?

The reality is we have that technology now, it just needs a little more time to “bake” before the public can take hold of it and start turning it into something we are used to seeing in the movies. One of the first major companies to show how useful wearable technology will become and why it will be the only thing now people will be focused on buying is Microsoft. Before watching the video below imagine a world when interactive screens turn on whenever you need them, you can touch and manipulate objects as if they were real, and if you wanted, put them into 3-d printers and make them come to life. Think I am making all of this up? Think again.

Welcome to the World of Holograms
Our worlds will no longer be physical environments we live in but also holographic environments. We will be able to pet out virtual pet before going to bed, playing chess with our friend on the other side of the world, and look at the current environment of a place we want to visit. We will be able to look at objects and make improvements to see what they will be once we made them. Our devices will allow us to see into things we were never able to see before not without lots of manual labor first.

Microsoft HoloLens

Learn more about the project here

Understand you will not be able to get your hands on these puppies until the fall, hopefully, but that is because they have a lot more bugs to work out since the voice controls, the only means of using the device, have to be perfect.

Space Glasses
If you are looking for glasses that you can get your hands in the fall then you might want to look into Space Glasses. These glasses let you create objects, manipulate environments, and interactive with your space. You can pre-order your pair here.

Sulon Technologies
The rise of virtual reality came all from video games so it only makes sense that more and more game makers will be creating holographic video game environments. Sulon is one company that has created their own headset to match the kind of interactive game play they want their players to experience.

Microsoft Research has created an interactive environment that doesn’t require any headset in order to interact with virtual objects. Not everyone in the public will be keen on having to wear a device all the time in order to see the same thing that those with the headsets are seeing. Using holographic multi-camera projectors placed above will allow everyone in the room to see the same thing and interactive with them. This will encourage more people to see the benefits of using the same holographic technology. The huge benefit is not having a limited field of vision that so many people find problematic with headsets.

You can see from the interact movement in the room just what all goes on. Individuals will be able to change objects, put up photos, move, what would considered heavy objects, around the room to make it look different. You can learn more about the future of RoomAlive in this article and see where it is headed.

Atheer Labs
Atheer is looking to take the same idea of interactive environments and make them something all around, from health and fitness to games and business. The idea is that you wear them for everything just like a few others above. The idea though of having to wear these glasses all the time will call into question about whether or not they will start to come with prescription wear.

It is very possible that these glasses will also become just as popular. If you are a developer for software like this you can order you a pair at this link to see about getting a head start on offering services and products for them.

If you have been deciding on whether or not to go out and purchase Google Glass you might want to wait and see just what kind of changes will be coming before making an expensive purchase. As more developers are brought on to create useful apps for all these devices the world of virtual reality will continue to grow. In the meantime don’t be surprised to see some of these cool things show up in a store near you. There is also a push from the medical field to include these headsets for people who need assistance. Just recently eSight showed a youtube video where a mom gave birth to her child. What makes this moment amazing is that she was able to see for the first time using special glasses that enhanced her vision. Be sure to take a look at the links below about this remarkable achievement.

News Articles

Why Microsoft’s HoloLens stands out in the battle of the glasses

Microsoft HoloLens Website

Microsoft HoloLens, a world-warping ‘holographic’ augmented-reality headset, coming in Windows 10 timeframe

Legally Blind Mom sees newborn for first time through special glasses

eSight YouTube Page

Unease for What Microsoft’s HoloLens Will Mean for Our Screen-Obsessed Lives

Community College Gave this Man his Purpose in Life

They say college is where one goes if they want to learn more about themselves. This is true if you have some type of purpose, within a structured environment, that are you are looking for. College’s today are different from what they are supposed to be. College: What it is, was, and should be is a book about the purpose colleges are supposed to serve and why they are not anymore. Colleges of any type are designed to help a person grow and discover who they are. They help you see what it is you are interested in, they provide the same kind of students around you to bond with, but they also challenge you. The idea behind college is that you grow as a person. If you leave college with the same beliefs and ideas you went in with, you wasted your money. College is meant to challenge those beliefs, ideas, and self-identity because it means you went beyond what was asked of you in class. You did the required readings but were inspired by the readings to read other books that inspired those books.

Community college is meant to act as a stepping stone to a larger plate of interest. It is a place that provides you with a variety of basic courses that are meant to help you find your life’s calling. There are many student groups to join, part-time jobs on campus to explore, and professors to meet. If you have the impression that community college is only for those that couldn’t get into a real college then you don’t really understand people. The high cost of going to a major university or college keeps majority of people from attending. Why spend thousands of dollars when you can spend hundreds and still learn the same material? Does the name of the university really matter? As this study showed, No it doesn’t.

Your motivation to learn beats out any major university so don’t ever think that the name of the school you attend will guarantee your success later on. This man showed that his years at a community college defined his career goals later on. He learned his basic skills that he still uses to do his life’s work now. If you want to get the most out of an education, don’t worry about the name of the school, worry about how much time you put into studying. Your level of motivation will beat out any Ivy league student who is just putting in the bare minimum to pass. After all the best thing you can give to somebody is a public library card, and last time I checked those were free. In all my times in different libraries I have seen people spend hours in those places reading and studying over a period of time only to leave that place an educated person with skills to match.

Now that Obama wants to make the first two years free at community colleges,  a plan that most will push against, hopefully will get passed. This really will help a lot of people but in the mean time more parents and kids need to learn the importance of getting a proper up-bringing and education. It will surprise many that most junior and senior high school students already have free access to community college classes, very free ever take advantage of it.

The movie Larry Crowne is about what his time was like in community college and what it meant to him when he attended.

I owe it all to Community College

Obama plan would help many go to community college for free

How do you fix the Homeless problem? Maybe Try This?

The issue of homeless is one that many people don’t really consider until they are the ones near that position in life. Many people might find it hard to believe that they could ever become homeless because they have a steady job and able to pay their bills on time. But as the movie Sicko by Michael Moore showed, you can spend your whole life doing what you are supposed to be doing and when hard times strike, like getting cancer, and your insurance won’t cover all the surgeries and medication then you start to see how easy one can become homeless without the aid of their family members to support them.

Many states around the country are passing laws that don’t help the homeless. It is like trying to pass a law that say, “Rats are not allowed to live in this area,” only to learn that the rats didn’t listen to your law because, well, they can’t read. Homeless don’t care what the law says about what they can and cannot do because they do not have a home, they don’t pay taxes, and many of them don’t even have ID cards on them anymore, so why should they care? You can cite them and lock up as many times as you want and what is that going to fix? Many homeless people want to be taken to jail because it will mean a meal, a bed to sleep on and off the streets for another night.

It will surprise a lot of people to learn how many people who are homeless want to work but because they do not have a physical address to receive mail, they do not have any new clothes to wear, and they smell it makes a very difficult time for them to make any progress in their life. So the state of Utah has decided to change all that by offering homeless people free housing. The reason behind that is it will impact the city less financially if more homeless people are off the streets than if they were on the streets getting arrested or loitering in areas where they shouldn’t be. The daily show did a great report on this whole new trend happening to find out if it actually works. The other side to this says that allowing them to have free housing when others are struggling to pay their bills is not fair. Well newsflash, life is not fair and it never has been so that whole reason, or excuse, doesn’t work.

It is interesting to find out just how successful this program is because when you think about it, everyday thousands of people are released from prison and jail, many of them served years behind bars now back into the world. The hard thing for them is to learn how to take care of themselves again. Their biggest problems now are finding housing, getting a job, and managing their life. The problem with this is that because the prison system has taught them to be do dependent on them for everything they don’t know how to earn a living so many of them commit a crime just to be thrown back in. There are many successful programs out there that try to help former inmates transition back into society but it is hard to keep them in those programs because the struggles are too much for them to handle. This housing program also keeps track of each person’s progress to make sure they are doing everything they can to get their own apartment to live in so another person can use the free housing.

In any case, click the link below to watch this interesting piece on solving the homeless problem.

Hasan Minhaj talks with Lloyd Pendleton, director of homeless task force in Salt Lake City

To learn more about this you can read some of the articles below.

News Articles

Housing First

100,000 Homes Campaign

Home Free?

Utah’s Housing First Program Successful

Tiny Houses: A big idea to end homelessness

Tiny Houses aim to help homeless

Small House Movement

Entrepreneur Series Starts Today!

The spring program starts back up today!

Here is the schedule for the semester. There will be lots of opportunities coming up this semester that I will only be mentioning in class. You will want to make sure you are there to find out all the great stuff happening this spring. I will be talking about a lot of networking opportunities in every class.

The program runs every Tuesday from 12 – 2 pm until the end of May. Please make the effort to be there and participate to get the most out of this program. Looking forward to seeing new faces.

Jan 13, 20 – Legal Issues for Startups

Jan 27, Feb 3 – Hiring to Create a Company Culture

Feb 10, 17 – Gaining Customers

Feb 24 – Understanding CrowdFunding

March 3, 10 – Using SXSW to Grow Your Business

March 24, 31 – Resources for Entrepreneurs

April – Understanding and Using Social Media to Grow Your Business

May 5, 12 – Building a Website for Your Business

May 19 – Does your Business need a Smart App?

May 26 – Start-up Ideas

It was his Passion that gave him a Job

We all have a passion for something. The author of this blog has many passions but so do many other people. The challenge for so many though is taking that passion and turning it into something that you can make a living at. Not everyone gets to work a job they enjoy being at everyday and the ones that do have that had to work hard to get there, nothing comes easy. Success is built on hard work plain and simple with some pressure thrown in.

All the individuals you meet on Etsy are individuals who make a living creating the items you see there. In the beginning Etsy had a rule that only hand-made items by small independent owners could sell items there, but now that they have updated their terms of service, many companies have moved in and ruined the whole feel to buying something someone made in their home or garage. For anyone starting out on there it can be a challenge to get your name or page out there for people to buy from.

Hard Times Create New Opportunities
Creativity comes from pressure, this is why so many students think they work better under a deadline because that pressure to perform at their best drives them to work harder. We have all experienced that in some form or another sometime in our life and some people believe that to be absolutely true while others know that isn’t. If a teacher tells you that your paper is due in ten weeks then that means you can break it up into smaller parts and create a well-written paper in that amount of time.

The reality though is that most students wait until the last minute before they have to turn it in and wonder why they got a bad grade on it when they get it back. The pressure though of being unemployed, because you have bills to pay, is different than a kid in school who only has to worry about a 3 page paper. The circumstances are the same (both have due dates) but the amount of pressure is different.

Adam Reed Tucker is an architect who lost his job during the recession. He knew he would have a lot of time on his hands, and it is assumed he had a nest egg built up in the meantime, so he took up the art of Lego building, but not just any kind of Lego building; he set out to replicate some of the most important buildings around the world in Lego form. He is also only one out of 12 certified master builder’s of Lego. (Learn what it takes to become a Master Builder for Lego) His background as an architect enabled him to understand what steps he needed to take to take a physical form and turn it into a brick layered form.

Turning Concept Ideas in Art
The idea that a grown man playing with Lego’s in his basement, or in this case Mr. Tucker’s studio, is crazy for most adult’s to understand. This is why you see adults get mad at their grown children for playing video games because they think they are wasting their time (that has all changed now that there are many valid ways to make a living off of that skill). If you were to say that playing with Lego’s is for children in front of a master builder they will probably get very mad at you with enough proof to show you how wrong you are.

Anything can be made into a profession as long as the passion and creativity are there. That is what Adam did when he started rendering buildings into brick form. He would build these massive sets and start building and filming it to show the process of what all goes into it. You can see some of his work captured in the Lego Architecture book that displays many famous skyscrapers and buildings all around the world. In the video below you can listen to Adam talk about some of his projects and the one he likes the most.

If you would like to watch Adam build a Lego set you can see in this time lapsed video how he built the famous Waterfalling House that was created and built by Frank Llyod Wright. In order to create this video he simply took a photo each time he added a new piece and then added in the animation at the end.

Paying to See Your Work
This the leap that is hard for people to make. People have trouble taking their passion and turning it into something that can make them money all the time. But why was Adam able to do it but so many Etsy people still have to work a second or third job to support what they do? Here is where things change for most and why the path of success is less traveled. Adam took on a passion that had not really been done before on the scale that he did it at. Yes many people have created amazing Lego building replications but Adam worked on so many others that had not really been done before.

Almost all architects in school are trained to study Frank Llyod Wright’s work, that is just a given so there is nothing new about that. Every architect student in school is familiar with the man’s work but how many take his work and turn it into something more? That is when you start weeding out the regular architect’s from the dreamers. Adam had an eye for bringing two separate things together and turn them into something new. This is why now if you search on YouTube cool Lego projects you will see people creating all kinds of cool things online that they did on their own. You can even see entire cities created with just Lego pieces.

Adam has taken past ideas and turned them into something new that has never been done before. His current project that he is about to reveal today is recreating the Taliesin West, which was the winter home and school for Frank Llyod Wright in Scottsdale, Arizona, in Lego form. He will have spent 260 hours and 180,000 bricks. One of the things Adam enjoys about using Lego bricks over anything else is that you don’t need any glue or connecting compounds because they all snap together.

You can watch in this video Adam putting together the Burj Khalifa in the Henry Ford Museum. Noticed the large pieces that were built before the final build.

How to Turn your Passion into your Life’s Work
Create something no one has done before with you work
It used to be the case that beanies were just simple hats to be put together and sell. They usually come in different colors but not much else changed with that. Beanie hats are nice because they are thick and comfortable but that all changed when people started creating special kinds of hats inspired by knights and knitting techniques. Here are popular beanies that were turned into beards for men, women, and children. The beardo beanie hats have seen become very popular.

2. Work on Your Passion all the Time, You Never Know Who’s Watching
Adam spent his off time building things with Legos. He used his time to create and produce stuff to show to people. The response he got from other’s encouraged him to keep doing it. When you have a full time job it can be difficult to do stuff but when you have the time, like when you are looking for a job, you can use that time to create something amazing so when you do apply for a job you have something wonderful to show for all that time you had off.

Leah Bowman used Lego’s to create herself a special resume that set her apart from all other applicants because instead of just sending an email with her resume, she created a Lego kit of herself for any employee to build. The completed project was her at the end but as they followed the instructions she provided they learned about her qualifications each step of the way. How’s that for personal branding?

 3. Have One Place where you can Work Undisturbed
This is very important because it helps you get into your frame of mind to how you want to work. The location puts you into the mood for working. You can focus on doing what you enjoy so when you have everything in the exact place you need it then you can get to work. Many times when you walk into a messy office you have a hard time getting into a productive routine because it is so difficult to find anything.

Your location needs to be neat and in order. If you are a designer then having all your rare materials separated and put into individual locations helps you to organize how you work. If you enjoy building large Lego sets then you know that you need a space big enough to let you move around and work. If you live in a place that will keep you from doing what you enjoy then you need to look around for other places. Maybe someone at your school has a room that you could use, you just have to ask around.

4. Learn the skills needed for your Passion
This one is very important that stops people a lot of times. There are many people who love playing video games and say they want to make video games. Then you ask a few weeks later how many games have they made and they say none but that hasn’t stopped them from playing video games. If you like making blankets and want to add in special designs because you have seen other people do it then wouldn’t it be a wise investment to learn all the techniques needed to make your blankets special? Or starting learning how to program to make video games?

Right now people are learning how to make smart phone apps but the challenge is keeping up with the skill. Adam Tucker taught himself everything about Lego’s so he would know exactly what was available to him as he was building. Any one making or building something needs to be aware of all the tools available otherwise you won’t really know what your capable of doing if you are not aware of what all is out there. He knows every piece that Lego has made, and when a certain piece is not available, sometimes he has to modify it to fit what he needs. Bottom Line, learn the skills of your trade so you can be a master at what you like doing.

5. Set time aside to work on your passion everyday
This is where passion and work start to become one. Younger kids are learning this idea that if something starts to feel like work then it is not fun anymore and they need to find something else; that is just wrong. Your work is your livelihood. If you think that Adam didn’t struggle when he was coming up with how to build some of his master projects you are fooling yourself. Without struggle there is no beauty in what you do so you have to learn how to handle it.

Setting aside time everyday to work on your passion helps you get through those struggles and handle them better as they come up. This also turns your passion into a habit and routine. Remember there will be days you won’t want to work on your stuff but you need to sit down and work and just put yourself into your work. Once you do that your mind can go back into the flow of how you work. History is filled with many successful people following this model of action because in the end the results made it all worth while.

Finding your passion is not easy so if you have a hobby that you wish could become your life’s work then start making sure you are learning all there is about your hobby. One of my interests that I want to turn into a bigger project is building model train set environments. I love watching Youtube videos where they show elaborate train sets that span rooms with beautiful sceneries. Their so awesome!

If you want to learn more about Adam Tucker and his passion you can read the news article below. If Lego’s are something you are passionate about then you might want to check out their Lego Architecture studio Kit. I have included several more videos on his work for you to watch, including some great LEGO books to read and interviews.


Record Breaking Lego Machine Contraption

Lego Books

The LEGO Neighborhood Book: Build Your Own Town!

Beautiful LEGO

Beautiful LEGO 2

The ART of LEGO Design

Brick City: Global Icons to Make from LEGO

LEGO Space: Building the Future

Steampunk LEGO

The Art of the Brick: A Life in LEGO


LEGO Architect Adam Reed Tucker

Interview with Master Builder

Adam Reed Tucker

News Article

Brick by Tiny Brick

“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” – Steve Jobs

“Change is the law of life. And those who look to the past and present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

“Things do not change; we change.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” George Bernard Shaw