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Case of the Fridays – Celebrity Hairstylist Sherri Belanger

Today I’ve chosen hair stylist Sherri Belanger for this week’s “Case of the Fridays“.  Based out of LA, her clients have been known to commute from San Francisco and San Diego just to have their hair done by her.   While she is very modest and prefers to retain client confidentiality & trust (sign of a great service provider), TV actresses that have starred in The Office, Glee, and several big name movies have gone to her to make them look good.  (Here’s one of my favorite shots I’ve taken of her)

 

I specifically chose Sherri because of her always-progressing attitude towards work and her openness to helping others.  As I’ve come to find, a lot of times well-established people aren’t always open to sharing their stories of success, and it’s refreshing to see someone that understands an abundance mentality and continues to help others grow.  She has a blog where she shares pointers and how-to videos, and I think it’s incredibly resourceful for anyone looking to grow their skills in her industry.

Here’s a photo of us to give you a visual for the interview – I met her while she was getting her hair done.  Decided to have a little fun and jump in the chair myself.

Hope you enjoy the interview – and if you know someone who might be interested in Sherri’s story – I’d love it if you shared it with them!

 

 

 

What is your name/age?

 

Sherri Belanger 29

 

What is your occupation?

 

Celebrity Hair Stylist

 

Where did you grow up?

 

Methuen, Massachusetts

 

How long have you been doing what you currently do?

 

10 Years

 

Did you have a 9-5 job before that?

 

I’ve actually only had 1 – when I was 15, I did sales at a tanning salon.  It wasn’t 9-5, it was an after school type thing.  Full time hours, but I worked there while in beauty school too.

 

How did you become involved in the work that you currently do?

 

Since I was a child, I had a love & obsession with hair.  For me it was never a question in my mind.  As soon as I finished HS, went straight to cosmetology school.  I had really bad hair when I was little, and I think that might have been what inspired me.

 

How much longer do you envision yourself working in the field that you’re in?

 

One day I feel like I may be a salon owner, however I’ll always be involved in hair care in some way.

 

What level of schooling have you completed?

 

I received my cosmetology license after HS.  1600 hours of schooling, it took me about a year and 2 months because I had a job as well.

 

What is it that you love about your work?

 

First and foremost I love people – I love getting to know them & making them feel good, helping them bring their inner most beauty out through their hair, helping them find their inner confidence through that, getting creative with styling, and the relationship you build with clients is amazing.

 

What is your least favorite thing about your work?

 

Our job can be very physically demanding.  You can stand up to 10 hours a day, barely have any time for a break or to use the bathroom.  It can take a lot out of you.

 

Is there anything you miss about life back home?

 

My family of course.  I love the east coast and the kind of people.  I moved here when I was 13 because my parents wanted to offer us more opportunity and get away from the snow.   At the time is was most devastating, but in turn became the biggest blessing.

 

What are some of the advantages of your job compared with the regular corporate career?

 

I can make my own schedule, essentially it’s up to me how much money I want to make.

I can be creative in how I look (hair makeup) while on the job,  if I want to take a month off to travel – I can.

If I wanna work 15 hrs/day 7 day/week I can.

It’s never the same thing everyday, and the people along the way can change your life - people open up about very personal things and share their life lessons…and through them I can learn as well.

 

What are some of the disadvantages compared with the regular corporate career?

 

Job security, we have to pay for our own medical benefits – there’s no guarantee that we’ll have future business.

Nothing is ever just going to come to you – you have to work really hard in order to sustain and achieve success.  No sick days or 401K, work late nights/early mornings, Saturdays/weekends, sometimes an important client wants their hair done at 5 AM.  The advantages totally outweight these though.

 

How different is the dating scene for you?  Is it easier/harder to make time to be with your significant other?

 

It can be easier for sure – once you are successful and have the option for weekend getaways you definitely can.  It doesn’t start that way, but it can snowball into that.  You get to meet a lot of people that want to set you up, so it’s a total advantage really.

 

Do you tend to prefer to live paycheck to paycheck or with a savings plan accounted for?  

 

I love saving money.  I’ve always put away money and liked to have a savings account – we also have to pay taxes in one big chunk during the year so we have to have a lot saved up for that.

 

How do you imagine your retirement, or lifestyle past 60?

 

Not sure if I’ll still be ‘doing hair’, but hopefully at that time I’ll own a really successful kickass salon somewhere in San Diego.  I’ll continue to have my hands in it.  There will never be a moment that I wont be passionate about hair and beauty.

 

Do you see your career facilitating a lifestyle suitable for a family, or do you have the desire to have a family?

 

Yes.  100%  Hair dressers make their own schedule.  You can choose to work only 3 days/week – it’s a business that allows you to be completely in control of your life.  It’s very likely to just work 4 hrs per day and make a substantial amount of money.

Truthfully, it starts out with a very humble beginning.  A lot of hair stylists have to move back home and put in a lot of work investing in yourself and your skill.  It’s kind of a slow, snowball effect and it takes time.  I don’t know any stylists that were making 6 figures in their first few years.  You can make it happen for sure, but you gotta work really hard.  A lot of stylists first start out with a part time job in addition to styling.

 

What are your top priorities in the ‘big picture’?

 

Making an impact in someway – helping people in any way that I can.  Making people feel good.

I love traveling and I want to have a family.  Being healthy, happy, and just living each day to the fullest – doing things that make me feel good.  Success is really just what you make of it.  Money’s not everything, but I just want to make enough to live comfortably.

 

If you had any advice to someone just graduating college or thinking about switching careers, what would it be?

 

If you have something itching inside of you to possibly be a hairstylist and make it a career – but you have a fear that you wont make money or people will criticize your decision, I think you have to ask yourself what the worst case scenario could be.  Not making money?  Starting over?  Not like it & find another job?  Ask yourself if you can handle that…and if so – go for it.   You can be super successful and make tons of money if you really want it.  There was a time when I was younger when I thought I wouldn’t make much money doing hair, and that was my mindset of what success was at the time – and I almost didn’t pursue it.

 

If someone wanted to do your job, what is important to maintain a position?

 

You have to be willing to put the time in and work hard – not expect things to be given to you.  Advanced training classes, hair shows, salons offer education, I started as an assistant – went to NYC to study at Bumble and Bumble about 8 times, the salon I started at required me to go to classes 2x a week and do photo shoots.  Early on set the tone for what it’d be like later.  Social media marketing.  Doing excellent service.  Keeping cutting edge.  Doing the most beautiful hair ever.  And put your heart into it.  It’s not just about getting their hair done, but making them feel pampered and relaxed & that they’re getting their money’s worth.

 

Who inspires you?

 

Passionate, positive people, individuals that don’t give up and believe in themselves.  Find the good in bad situations.

 

What do you think of authority?

 

Ha, I have a guilty conscience if I do bad things, but I definitely agree that some rules were meant to be broken.

 

What did you get into the most trouble for when you were young?

 

Probably talking too much in school.  I think I talked a lot.  I’d get grounded from the phone as a recurring punishment.  Sometimes I’d eat my packed lunch during class.  I loved to eat.

 

 

~FUN QUESTIONS~

 

 

What did you want to be when you want to be when you grew up?

 

Dorothy from the wizard of oz – I loved her pigtails.

 

What are some of your favorite sounds?

 

The ocean.  Sitting in a jungle.  Bamboo hitting bamboo.

 

What’s your favorite curse word?

 

I probably drop F bombs a lot, is that bad?  I don’t do it at work, but I kind of cuss a lot, haha.

 

If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be, and why?

 

A monkey.  I just love monkeys so much.

 

What are some of your favorite smells?

 

I love the smell of the leaves in New England during the fall.  The smell of Gardenias and lilacs – we used to have lilacs at my house growing up, so I love that.

 

If you were a character in a famous movie, who’s role would you play?

 

I’d be aerial in Little Mermaid, she had great hair.

 

If you could go back to any point in history for a month, what time period would you visit?

 

I’d love to visit when my parents were teens during the mid 70’s, rocking hippy hair and bell bottoms.  I think it’d be incredible to live in that and experience that kind of era – a permanent party.

 

If you had to obtain $1m illegally, how would you do it?

 

Taking a Vegas casino by counting cards.

 

Which long lost childhood object would you most like to find?

 

When I moved from Mass – SD, my friends would write me letters.  I’d have anything from 1-5 letters each day.  For whatever reason my family moved a few times…and in the process my letters got lost.  I found a lot of strength in those letters.

 

 

What age do people become “old”, what’s the secret to staying young?

 

I think you’re never old – it’s all in your mind.  Your body might break but you don’t have to succomn to it…maintaining the young mindset is what it takes.

 

What’s your favorite quotation?

 

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those that mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mind.

 

If someone wanted to get in touch with you and ask you more about what it takes to get involved in your career, what would be the best way?

 

Sure!  They can get in touch via my Facebook business page.

On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to get back to them?

 

10

Chance - Great interview Tim – keep up the good work. Sherri, congratulations on achieving exactly what you want to do in life. Continue to live life with that strong positive attitude!February 19, 2013 – 12:42 pm

Ryan - Really enjoying your “Case of the Fridays”. Keep them coming!February 18, 2013 – 8:12 pm

Max - Wow she is gorgeous! Great interview tooFebruary 15, 2013 – 11:18 pm

Jamie - Awesome post. She genuinely seems kind and caring – and you can tell by the way she talks about the client experience. Bravo Sherri!February 15, 2013 – 11:18 pm

Alexa - Great interview on this one Tim! She is definitely right about the amount of time and dedication it takes – it’s especially not easy starting out. This one hit home for me, and some day I hope to be at her level.February 15, 2013 – 11:17 pm

Barbara - So poud of you sweetie.February 15, 2013 – 5:33 pm

Don Belanger - Love the fact that you’d want to go back to me and mom’s teenage years, and yes it was a non stop party! And you are right, you did talk to much when you were younger. We considered getting you a t-shirt back then with the slogan: “I’m Talking and I can’t Shut Up!” – love you hon!February 15, 2013 – 4:53 pm

crystal trotter - I’ve been lucky enough to know Sherri since her days at the tanning salon where I was a client. She is the most beauitful person I know inside and out. I was one of her first clients in San Diego and am also one who makes the trek up to Hollywood to see her. I have been through a lot in my life and going to Sherri is a release, time to feel pretty and pampered and most of all a time to reflect on what positives I can draw from life. Funny that getting your hair done can do that to someone! Sherri’s geniune concern for her clients makes it *more* than just getting your hair done. She is an amazing person that I feel blessed to know.February 15, 2013 – 12:28 pm

Flirt with your wife

Last night, I met up with my 7th grade girlfriend at a speakeasy bar in New York City.  We entered the place through a phone booth in the back of a restaurant and took a seat at the bar among 30 other people.  We tried some new cocktails, and after catching up for a bit – we got into a really interesting conversation about flirting.  I thought some of the ideas were so insightful…that I thought I’d share them with you.

 

We’ve all been to that point in a relationship where things get a little stagnant.  (Usually it occurs around the 6 month to 1 year mark)  And after awhile of putting your best foot forward trying to win her heart over and make a great impression, you realize you’ve got her.  She’s yours.  And you are hers.

 

And with that, we get tempted to relax a little bit – we don’t need to put forth so much effort into winning affection because we’re both secure & comfortable in knowing that we’re in it together now.

 

But here’s the thing…while you were busy getting her roses and treating her to romantic and creative nights out on the town – what do you think was going on in her head?

 

It sets the expectation for what the future is going to be like with you.

 

And what happens when you decide to stop putting forth so much effort to try to win her over and impress her?

 

She’ll think you don’t care…or maybe that you’re not as interested as you used to be.  And that’s not cool.

 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard couples complain that the other doesn’t recognize the things they do for each other or that they don’t show appreciation.

 

But guess what ladies?  It works both ways!

 

Of course it’s more comfortable to wear ugg boots and throw your hair up in a sock bun.

 

And of course it’s more comfortable to stay in and order pizza while playing Halo 3 in your gym shorts.

 

But as you could probably guess – those aren’t the most exciting nights we’ll experience.

 

Now I’m not saying that you can’t do these things and you shouldn’t be completely comfortable in front of one another – what I’m getting at is that vigor and that passion that came through in the first few months…what happened to it?

 

Well…I suppose it fades over time with the lack of needing to “win each other over”.

 

You want to know how you can rekindle that feeling…without having to go to all the extra effort and energy?

 

FLIRT.

 

I don’t mean “hit on her” and spank her ass while she’s doing the dishes.  (But don’t dismiss the idea completely – some girls love that kind of thing)

 

What I want to encourage is the idea of being playful.  It doesn’t take much effort to have a little fun with someone randomly throughout the day – and it actually makes a HUGE difference in their attitude.

 

Try it.  Have fun.  Play a prank on them.  It might come as a surprise after so much time of being predictable…but once you start it…

 

IT’S ON.

 

And trust me – it will add a whole new element to your day and to your LIFE that will make it much more enjoyable.

 

Make a funny impression of her.  Give her a nickname.  Text her funny pictures that remind you of her in a silly way during the day.  Make fun of her in a playful way. Wrestle her and pin her to the ground, and do the hanging spit thing you’d do to your sister growing up.  (She’ll hate it, but it’s fun as hell for us)

 

Girls – throw on some heels and do your hair just for the hell of it, wake him up with that special alarm clock that nothing else can compare to, and if you REALLY want to make him feel like a man – have a conversation with a friend over the phone just loud enough for him to hear and brag about something he’s done recently.  You can bet your sweet ass he’ll be more inclined to do it again.

 

On another note – I interviewed a guy for an upcoming “Case of the Fridays” post and he responded to the question of when do people get old – with the most original response I’ve heard yet – “when they stop having sex”.  Hit the nail on the head.

 

Point is with this post – a lot of times we get caught up thinking “why aren’t they doing things for me like when we first started dating?”  And we jump to conclusions that make the relationship seem unfulfilling.

 

But don’t let your mind go there – instead…let your mind think about how you can make her life more enjoyable and more fun.

 

Yeah, maybe she WON’T understand it.  Maybe she won’t appreciate it at first.  But she’ll notice you’re making an effort.  You’re thinking about HER, and making it a point to have fun WITH HER.

 

And in reality…when you REALLY think about it…she is the most important person in your life!  Show her that she is.  (Could you imagine your life without her?)

 

I have a pretty good feeling it will end up well for you – not just the end of the night but your time with each other as a whole.

 

It might take being the bigger person, and realize that the world isn’t always going to recognize the effort you put forth – and a lot of times you’ll end up unrewarded.  But that doesn’t change the fact that you add enjoyment to their life on a daily basis.  And THAT is where the motivation should come from.

 

So go have some fun.  Surprise her.  Do something spontaneous.  Surprise her with some costumes one night and get weird together.  Yeah that’s right!  Get weird together, she’ll love it.

 

Happy Valentines Day

 

PS – this is a photo from an engagement session I shot in Santa Monica a few months ago – here’s Jenn smashing a cupcake into her fiance’s face.  I feel it shows the kind of playfulness people should embrace and take lightheartedly!

 

PPS – this doesn’t just apply to couples.  Flirting with people and just generally having playful fun with anyone will do wonders for your overall attitude in life.

 

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If you enjoyed this post and feel like others can benefit from reading, I’d love it if you shared it.

Bob Dylan - He that is not busy being born is busy dying…March 6, 2013 – 9:45 pm

Holly - Wow! I love the colors in that picture!!March 6, 2013 – 12:33 pm

Feuza - My husband needs to read this! so trueFebruary 26, 2013 – 10:15 pm

Ryan Naman - Well put , the spontaneity of life is lost in our mundane day to day rituals and routines …. I think Everyone can take those words and positively put them into action because doing nice things for people you care about , like you say , should be all the motivation you need!!

Thank You!February 17, 2013 – 11:52 am

Ariel - Loved this post. You really articulated that kind of progression of impressing/comfort really well. Couldn’t help but laugh at the spit comment lol we hate that!!!February 14, 2013 – 10:16 pm

Lisa - I think DOING the dishes is way more surprising. :)February 14, 2013 – 7:06 pm

Alyssa - Love this post! So true and so honest, thanks for writing this Tim – I’ve really been enjoying your posts lately.February 14, 2013 – 6:06 pm

Leanne - Been really enjoying your blog posts lately! You have a great way of combining fun and wisdom !February 14, 2013 – 11:58 am

Carol Adams - Loved the picture of the adorable couple!February 13, 2013 – 10:11 pm

Cheryl Reeser Ruse - Great thoughts!February 13, 2013 – 8:36 pm

ashley goodwin - Awwwww, this is a sweet one, Tim!
And I LOVEEEEEEEEE that photo at the bottom, the colors speak to me (plus it’s cute!).February 13, 2013 – 8:28 pm

Anna - Love the pic! Props to the camera assistant :)

AnnaFebruary 13, 2013 – 8:11 pm

On being “weird”

I can’t tell you how many times someone has told me I’m “the weirdest person they’ve ever met”.

I actually take that as a compliment, because it highlights exactly how predictable and average the person exact-opposite would be.  Do you think THAT person would be ’really interesting’ to hang around?

 

I’ll tell you one thing…consistently taking people by surprise and exposing them to new ideas NEVER gets old.  When I can break someone out of their comfort zone and show them a new way to REALLY have fun, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences in the world.

 

And for my birthday this past weekend, I did exactly that.

 

On Wednesday night around 2 AM, I suddenly had the idea to throw a birthday party for myself unlike anything done before.  I texted 8 of my closest friends – telling them to meet at my house on Friday at 7:30 sharp.  I also asked they either let me know if they’re 100% “IN” or 100% “OUT”.  I woke up the next day to all of them responding 100% “in”.  (When you’ve got friends that make a priority like this, it feels pretty fucking awesome.)

 

So come Friday, I had something in store for them that they would have never guessed.  I decorated my place with tea lights and candelabras – and prepared monk robes for everyone to wear as if it were a ‘secret society meeting’.  I also filled my refrigerator with 40 oz of beer as it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.  There was no way 9 guys would finish off 60+ bottles, but the hell with it.  Sometimes you do things just for the fun of it, no matter how impractical it is.

 

 

As the night got started and I was looking for my robe, I came across some animal masks I had in storage from photo booths I had done prior (I work as a photographer if you didn’t already know).  An idea came to me that would add to the fun for when the pizza guy came…so we all put on the masks, and my friend Rich had the genius idea to play the pandora station labeled “chanting monks.”

 

 

What ensued during the pizza delivery would be one of the funniest pranks we’ve ever done.  (See for yourself below)

 


 

Now while that was hilarious, I can’t tell you how much MORE I valued the remainder of the night.  One of the main reasons I wanted my friends to come was so they could get acquainted with one another – and by the end of the night everyone was cracking jokes, talking trash, and sharing stories as if they’d known each other for years.

 

Here’s the critical part – not only did we have a fun time enjoying the spirit of this random idea, but we also talked about some pretty meaningful life-stuff.  I went around the table to introduce everyone, and with that – explaining how each of them has uniquely inspired me in a certain area of my life.  We went on to talk about the most ‘difficult challenge’ we’ve ever faced in life and how we grew from it – and man…what better way to get to know someone at their core.  One of us talked about what it was like seeing his friend die, (one of us talked about a time when he, himself, was legally ‘dead’ for a brief moment in time!), one of us talked about what it was like being in a gang, and these kind of strong experiences revealed some serious insight into each others lives.  Learning from what they’ve experienced was extremely impactful.

 

The night surpassed any dinner I’ve ever been to, and is one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had.  My friend Jon said at the end of the night, “this is the most fun I’ve ever had without girls.”

 

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Now I want to take a second to talk about being “weird.”  When I had told others about my idea for this party prior, they told me it was really ‘weird‘ and some seemed genuinely concerned for my mental health.  Some suggested I shouldn’t go through with the robe idea out of the assumption that my friends would think I’m crazy.

 

But you know what?  After it was all said & done – people “got it” and now think it was ‘hilarious’, I’ve seen people asking my close friends for invites to the next one.  (The video above was shared on Facebook 30+ times from people) Funny how that things turn out like that…

 

***UPDATE***(7/30/13) – The video has since gained over 700,000 views on YouTube, was featured on the today show (they express the exact opinion I’m talking about), and I was interviewed about it during a live news segment for the Huffington Post.  On top of all that, a company sent me a check for $500 to license the usage of it for their prank show.

 

I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me in the past where people doubt my ideas and try to influence me to go the ‘normal route’.  And sometimes I’ve listened…which I now regret doing.

 

I’ve never felt more sure and secure in my ‘weird‘ nature than I do now.  I know EXACTLY what I want out of life – and I see no reason why anything or anyone should get in my way.

 

And they shouldn’t get in ‘your way’ either.

 

You wanna put yogurt on your toast instead of jam?  Go right ahead.  I do it all the time.  People make fun of me, but it’s the bomb and I don’t care.

 

Awhile back I was meeting my ex-girlfriend’s parents for the first time and I wanted to be ‘sure’ that I made a great impression.  My roommate suggested I pick up a bottle of wine and some flowers.

 

Safe bet, right?  TOTALLY.

 

It *was* safe.  And they’d probably think it was really nice of me.

 

However, it wasn’t *me*.  So I came up with the idea of getting fresh blueberries and orange juice along with some champagne for the mom instead.  My roommate assured me they would think I was weird.

 

“Fuck it.”
I did it anyways.  And you know what?

 

Her dad CRUSHED those blueberries the next morning and suspected that his daughter had TOLD ME to get him the orange juice – because he apparently LOVES fresh OJ.

 

Looks like my “weird” intuition was right again.

 

My point with all this is – if you’re ever feeling like an outcast because you want to stay home and knit mittens while listening to Rammstein on a Saturday night - go right ahead! Hell, post that you’re doing that on Facebook!  I’m betting somebody will see it and be like, “damn Jenny, that sounds legit – mind if I join you?”

If you want to do something and feel like ‘society standards’ would frown upon it or it would be looked at as ‘weird‘ or ‘uncool‘ – you have to question *who* exactly you’re living your life for.  Are you living based off what others think?  Hell-to-tha-no. You do what YOU want, WHEN you want. “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

I hosted a blog party instead of watching the Super Bowl and mentioned it to a friend while in a text conversation.  He responded back saying, “you know what, fuck society standards – I’d love to join you.”

 

Be a leader of “yourself” and others will be inspired to do the same.  And it’s REFRESHING AS HELL to lead a life doing exactly what you want without influence from others.  I suggest you try it and let me know how it feels.

 

If you’re weird like me and want to help others find their inner “weirdness” too, I’d love it if you shared this.

 

And if you just want to give me a holler and say “hell yeah Tim – that was on point!”  I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

 

Hope you’re having an awesome Monday.

 

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Here’s a few bonus photos of me being weird just for the fun of it:

 

This was a holiday card I made this past December.  Again, tried to tell people the concept – thought I was weird.  Once they saw this masterpiece they immediately understood.

 

 

I had to ask a friend if I should include this next photo.  I asked her, “Fire jumping’s not weird, is it?”

She responded, “Tim – it is weird.  I think you just have a skewed perception of normal.”

 

 

A ninja costume themed pub crawl my friend James held a couple years ago.

 

 

On Halloween of this past year, I spent the evening working on my website with my friend Jason.

Drove around with this Peruvian mask on in my car during the day for the hell of it.

 

 

Every time I visit my dad, we play racquetball at the college gym. He usually beats me in a lopsided victory.  One time I visited and beat him by a big margin.

And…it just so happened that the school was doing a fundraiser-portrait-day for kids in the art school to go to a photography conference. I figured what BETTER way to remember this day in history than to get a portrait of myself right after the game!

$10 later my dad now has this portrait to haunt his dreams of the day that I viciously destroyed him in racquetball.

 

Dressing up just for the hell of making the photo *that* much better.

 

 

My friend Julia trains horses, and invited me up to her ranch to go riding one day.

Again, made it more fun by playing the part.

 

 

Halloween weekend last year was super foggy.  Decided to get out some monster gloves I had in my prop storage and have some fun with in the streets with my buddy Matt.

 

 

Had a really long layover in the Gangzhou airport on my way to snorkel in Indonesia.  Decided to get my gear out and have some fun.

 

Vince - Hey man, just read this post and love how you’re living your life to the fullest. Keep doing your thing.March 15, 2014 – 7:30 pm

Nina Krafft - SO good! Keep doing what you’re doing! Much love.July 30, 2013 – 8:35 pm

Tom - Fucking hell I love you.
Seriously, you seem like an amazing person, and I really wish I knew you. You seem like the best type of friend – the best type of person! None of that seems weird to me, it looks like fun.
The way you live your life is so inspiring to other people, you’re just so awesome! Again, I really wish I knew you. :(July 17, 2013 – 12:22 pm

Alice - Wow. This is so inspiring. I’ve struggled with being myself and basically every kind of anxiety. I’ve actually wanted to do “weird” things and speak out but it just takes over me. Anxious about what language I speak, and how much I speak of it. (I grew up and live in the Philippines but I’m terrible at Filipino. So much that I am dubbed an Englishera [I speak too much English, apparently] and some people just avoid me) Anxious about my friends. Caring about what people think of me. Confidence issues. Thoughts like “Am I really good at this? Should I just stop altogether because whatever I’ll do, people will make fun of me anyway? Should I tell people when something good happened to me? Will they think I’m just arrogant? Do I even have real friends?” Too much but you get the idea.

What is considered “normal” seems strange to me. The people I’m around everyday have affected me. Over time, I have conformed to their cliche teenage girl ways and every day I hate that I changed. I hate the fact that THEY of all people caused me to change. Sigh. (My life is a cliche high school comedy movie)

But you, my good sir, have brightened my day. Reading your story has inspired me to go the distance. (Disney’s Hercules reference, anyone?) A personal account does so much better than psychological studies, self-help books/articles, and even my best friend STATISTICS. Being yourself is all that really matters. Normal /is/ overrated.

In unrelated news, I think I saw your holiday card on Tumblr. EPIC. You are amazing. That prank brought me here, and gave me a better outlook on life.

Sorry if this whole comment might not make sense at times, but you’re awesome. I can’t thank you enough for this post. DFTBA.
And to anyone who read until the end of my comment, I salute you.June 8, 2013 – 7:01 am

Katie Young - THANK-YOU. Reading this beautiful post at this exact moment in time has given me immense inspiration and validation. This is something I’ve struggled with lately- others not liking my ideas and thinking doing the same thing over and over again is more fun than inventing your own board games or going to a club dressed as superheroes (WHY, I DON’T KNOW?!) Thank-you for reminding me that I am f***ing awesome and my ideas are fantastic no matter what others say. I spent the other day by myself (because NO ONE wanted to join!) going to a festival embracing international cultures, a musical about drag queens, and riding around the city in trains alone, and I have to say IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST DAYS I’VE HAD THUS FAR. Other readers, I hope like me, you will continue to let your freak flags fly. I’d rather be weird than boring. And I’m so much happier as the awkward chick who doesn’t really give a f***. ^_^June 6, 2013 – 7:27 pm

Andrew - I just decided to write to say thanks. You remind me of all the people in my life who make me genuinely happy to be around them. the guys that want to do things because the alternative is to be normal, and there really is no point (and no fun) in that. this post is seems to be a guide on how I want to live my life. So thanks, and keep on being weird, man.June 6, 2013 – 6:00 pm

Laura - “You’re weird” is always the best compliment I can receive. And while I’ve struggled in the past with people’s perception of me, I’m glad I no longer worry about it. Props for describing in many words something that for most of us is hard to explain.June 5, 2013 – 9:16 am

Jessica - Oh my god i love you, that is completely brilliant :D good on you, they don’t own you and you’re happy, who cares if you’re ‘weird’. Normal is relative after all :)June 5, 2013 – 1:06 am

Frida H - You seem like you’re an awesome person! And I agree, who the fuck cares if you’re not doing like everyone else? You should do whatever you want yourself.June 5, 2013 – 12:24 am

sui sea - I agree with someone else that you don’t seem *that* weird to me, hahaha! But maybe I’m just weird, too. Still, cool. That pizza guy’s reaction was awesome, though. It was cool that he kind of went along with it — might’ve been even more hilarious had s/he been someone who freaked out about it ;)June 4, 2013 – 12:18 am

Gwen - When someone tells me that I’m too weird, implying that it’s a bad thing…I generally stop talking to that person. I really don’t find 90% of the stuff I do to be that weird. I mean I found most of your pictures humorous, not weird. Alright the Christmas one was kind of weird, and when I use that word I just use it as a euphemism for “unconventional” which is definitely a good thing. Most “conventional” things are…unpleasant. I also get really annoyed when people imply that something “weird” I’m doing is embarrassing them. It’s like “Gee, I’m sorry that you’re an insanely boring person but I can’t…not be me. Good day.” and then I’ll burst into song (this tends to go well if we’re in public) typically a Whitney Houston number, and then I do a hair flip and leave them standing in the middle of a very populated area looking dumbfounded.June 3, 2013 – 12:37 am

ajira - Got to admit that I’ve always thought normal was a euphemism for boring and unnatural. I’d rather be me.March 28, 2013 – 8:34 pm

Sarah - Thank you so much for posting this! It is truly inspiring. People tell me all the time that my ideas won’t work, or theres no way i can do something. And you know, i know i can, and you’ve just reminded me of that. Thank you :-)March 21, 2013 – 5:35 pm

Dakota Sterling - This.. Was just brilliant. It truly was. It was inspiring. Not in a “hell yeah, I’m gonna do crazy stuff.” But more of a reminder for me to not back down in doing what I truly want to do despite everyone telling me I’ll gain nothing from it. ..thank you. So very much.March 18, 2013 – 11:07 pm

Jenny - THANK YOU for making this post, sir. It was great and absolutely FANTASTIC to read. Keep on being awesome dude.March 18, 2013 – 9:11 pm

Samantha - On point sir. I’ve always been “weird”, occasionally self conscious about it, but ultimately it makes me happy. So “weird” it is.

I think it helps to have good friends.

My 21st birthday, I bought 15 dollar store squirt guns and a pack of 400 water balloons then proceeded to have a giant water fight. We finished out the night with indoor blanket fort building and a Jurassic Park marathon.

Best birthday I’ve ever had.February 28, 2013 – 2:18 pm

Samantha Eschborn - On point sir. I’ve always been weird, sometimes self conscious about it, but ultimately I like it, because it makes me happy.

I think it helps to have good friends to be weird with.

My 21st birthday I bought 15 dollar store squirt guns and a pack of 150 water balloons then my friends and I had a squirt gun and water balloon fight before building indoor blanket forts and watching the Jurassic Park movies.

Best birthday I’ve ever had.February 28, 2013 – 2:13 pm

Kat - I found this website through some interview that you had with the Huffington Post. May I say that I am exceptionally happy that I took the extra effort to look your website up. I am constantly being ragged on by friends and acquaintances about how “weird” I am. Although I brush it off and reply with a thank you, it still bothers me to some extent. I’m one of those people who can’t sleep at night if I know that someone dislikes me. Also add to the fact that I’m a naturally cynical person.
Alright so my fashion sense isn’t really normal in any sense. Yes, I know, you don’t see many girls walking around wearing a fedora. Often time I can be found saying strange things and people tend to be “weird-ed out” with my creative way of writing. As cliche as it is to say, normal is totally overrated. I mean who exactly gets to set the bar for being normal? If being normal requires me to wear short and revealing clothes while fan-girling over boys with usually little talent, then I want none of it.
Watching your video made me realize that that’s something I would probably do if I had the chance. It can be rather discouraging when you’re constantly beaten down about being abnormal. I’ve been on the receiving end of many sarcastic and sometimes downright cruel comments about my oddity. Recently, I’ve been quite saddened with all of it and have been trying desperately to “fit in.” Somehow, I always manage to stand out though.
My whole point to the surprisingly long rant is that I want to say thank you. Thank you for posting something that a lot of people can’t or won’t post. Having recently moved, I haven’t really found any friend that are my brand of “weird.” I’m grateful that you’ve reminded me that there are other people out there like me, I just have to keep looking.(Perhaps with some bird calls (Not that I’m particularly any good at them.).) Also, that I have to stop trying to suppress my amazing-ness just because society dictates I must. Thank you again, and sorry for the tediously long comment.February 27, 2013 – 9:15 pm

Sebastian - On point! I believe that for many people anything unusual, non-conform automatically is weird, simply because it is too different to what they know and expect and they cannot process it. Personally, I’d describe you (if I had to call you anything) as being a little eccentric, which I believe is more of a compliment than anything. Being eccentric is celebrated in some countries (just look at Great Britain or Australia).

If we’re all the same, and always do what people expect us to do, life becomes horribly, horribly boring for everyone. Bet the same people who call you weird are the ones who will, at the next boring dinner party, tell the story of that crazy guy they know so that they themselves seem a bit less boring. To being yourself!February 27, 2013 – 6:39 am

Courtney - Tim, thank you for this post! I’ve just come through one of those months where my family has experienced the loss of a loved one and I’m reminded just how short life really is; reading this post made me laugh (yes, out loud), tear up, and acknowledge some of my own weird, inspired ideas that have yet to become a reality. Thank you. :)February 26, 2013 – 9:17 pm

Kinze - Love the video and the story behind it makes it even cooler. I absolutely LOVE the fire jumping picture and I don’t think you’re weird at all. You seem like a legitimately nice and funny person and I hope you keep being yourself, because you seem pretty badass :)February 26, 2013 – 8:02 pm

Rakel - You seem like a pretty normal guy to me. (maybe I’m just weird too?)
But I like that you don’t let other people think for you.
Keep up the good work!February 26, 2013 – 4:58 pm

Nathaniel Drake - awesome post man, keep up the good work. the world most definitely needs more people like you.

ps. if you are interested check out Brandbjerg Højskole. That is a school in Denmark that encourages people to just be them self and exit there comfort-zone. made my life way better to learn that.February 26, 2013 – 4:39 pm

Jesse - You’re the man, pure and simpleFebruary 25, 2013 – 10:22 pm

Rayna - You, sir, are a model of ridiculous fun times and a hero to us all. Raucous applause for your viewpoint on how to make life rad for yourself and others at the same time!February 25, 2013 – 10:00 pm

Rachel - You seem like a blast to be around, this is awesome.February 25, 2013 – 5:18 pm

Rick - You have reconfirmed a philosophy I have had for years: Screw Conformity! Thanks for this post. I knew I was not the only wierd one on the planet but its nice to actually see others who share the same thought process. Good job on the video. rofmao!!February 25, 2013 – 12:30 pm

Bethany Ann - Right on!!!! Keep on being weird !!!! It works. :)February 25, 2013 – 5:42 am

Wes Morrow - Hey, Tim!
Great article. I love putting people outside their box in order to get a reaction. It’s funny because most people get so wrapped up in the boring and mundane of everyday life, that they are genuinely happy to see something out of the ordinary. Keep on keeping on!
WesFebruary 18, 2013 – 2:42 pm

Cate O'Malley - So many awesome photos and scenarios. Love the fire jumping one, and the scuba gear in the airport. Great memories for you, I’m sure. The monster glove one reminds me of a scene from Teen Wolf.February 15, 2013 – 8:20 am

ami - I think that it’s your unwavering confidence in being weird that somehow transforms being weird to being interesting. Maybe it’s shyness that goes along with some people’s weirdness (mine included) that makes everyone else feel uncomfortable and therefore it actually becomes weird to be around?

Your post really makes me feel like, fuck, I play it so safe! I think I’m putting myself out there sometimes, but I’m still just dipping my toe into the pool as opposed to throwing myself in. I know how weird I am, so I hide it. IT’S SO STUPID.

In that way your blog frustrates the crap out of me, but I guess that’s why I like it too. It sheds a light on how much awesomeness is out there if you only allow yourself to go get it.

P.S. Couldn’t stop laughing during the video
P.P.S. Most amazing Christmas card everFebruary 13, 2013 – 8:59 pm

Craig - Holy Shit Tim! Loving the snorkel shot! Weirdness is the new normal!February 13, 2013 – 8:26 am

Chuck P - Love this blog, Tim. Thanks for posting your Xmas card. Absolutely the most rocking, hilarious photo ever. A few comments in response to the notion of “weird”. Says who? The thundering herd? Most people skim across the surface of life, only to sink placidly into a shallow grave, never really having explored the depth/breadth of life in its infinite variety. At the end, life’s journey is a “grip it and rip it” affair. On my journey, I have learned that new, fulfilling experiences and life surrounded by nurturing relationships are what it is all about. Be weird. Be yourself. Be YOU at your best. Most importantly, act well the given role. Ciao for now, bud.February 12, 2013 – 11:45 am

Pam Boyd - Oh, yeah! Go Weird! I always knew you would be awesome, Tim…even when you were a whacked out kid! haha Reminiscent of Walden, Emmerson’s Self Reliance, Ayn Rand, and Walt Whitman. Good company! Keep up the “men (and women) of whom the world is not worthy” linage.
BTW, great discussion after stunt. Love the questions. Use them all the time. But one time I asked, “the most embarrassing thing that you ever did” at a couples dinner and it was like throwing ice water on everyone. Didn’t really end well. Wasn’t too kind on some of the egos.February 11, 2013 – 7:06 pm

Twyla Lapointe - Totally awesome. I laughed so hard at the end of your video when everyone cracked up.

I have had aspirations to do crazy things and I usually “think better” of it, but you’ve inspired me to consider being a little crazier. =)February 11, 2013 – 6:59 pm

Saundra McBride - It’s been a while since I’ve been in touch but I have kept up with you since your blog challenge. That challenged opened my eyes and I can truly say that I’m in a great place because of it. So now I want to join in the “weird.” What a fantastic and inspirational experince/post. Thank you for sharing every moment of it.

SaundraFebruary 11, 2013 – 6:50 pm

Lisa - “knit mittens while listening to Rammstein on a Saturday night” – well YeUH. What’s weird about that?February 11, 2013 – 6:34 pm

Ricardo Loera - I love this and yes Tim you are on POINT.. I hear this all the time from all that I am just a weird character, but I have always been myself and I enjoying been the weird me. But in the end of it all I will be true to myself and that is all I can really do !!February 11, 2013 – 3:06 pm

Erin Oveis Brant - I dig your weirdness. Safe and “normal’ is totally overrated. So hell yeah Tim – that was on point!February 11, 2013 – 1:47 pm

Case of the Fridays – YouTube Partner Chris Thompson

For today’s post, I’ve chosen Chris Thompson, a individual content creator for YouTube for this week’s “Case of the Fridays“.  His work primarily consists of creating unique and original videos to generate interesting content for his audience on his channel on YouTube.  His content ranges from song covers, relationship advice, and fun personal topics we all encounter in our daily lives.

 

 

I chose Chris because well, ONE – he has one of the most interesting careers based off an industry that has just been CREATED in the past decade (there is a lot to learn in this area for sure!) and TWO – he’s incredibly inspiring.  I’ve seen clips from his viewers like this one where fans tell how he’s inspired them to be confident and how his videos have made a difference in their lives.  While maintaining a large following, he keeps things personal and engaging with his followers – and I love the fact that he’s just so AUTHENTIC.

Without further adue, here’s the interview (and a creative pic for you to have as a visual of our conversation while we met up in LA).  I realize this photo makes me look like I have a black eye – during the interview I asked a question that Chris was HIGHLY offended by and he delivered a swift jab to my right eye.  (Just kidding, although Chris did mention that he is a very good fighter if there was ever a damsel in distress that needed his help.)

 

 

What is your name/age?

 

Chris Thompson – 31

 

What is your occupation?

 

YouTube Partner

 

Where did you grow up?

 

Mostly in Chicago, lived in NJ for 5 years. I moved to LA in 2003, which was before the big YouTube boom.

At first I had quite a bit of culture shock!  I was from a suburb, so I’d never been exposed to a big city before – I was a suburban kid.  The peeps out here are kind of a trip, not the type I was used to in Chicago suburbs.

I was tempted to go back home several times. I’m very close to my family – I love being around them, but I always end up staying – at this point, the opportunity out here, the weather – it’s just to great for me to pass up.  Chicago weather sucks.

With the way youtube is going, you have to be here. You have to be available for opportunities on a moments notice in the LA area. For example, pilot episodes for shows dedicated soley to youtube – they’re all location dependent and the majority are in LA.

 

How long have you been doing what you currently do?

 

I started my channel 6 years ago.  Never really took it seriously before, and now February I’ll be doing it 2 years full time. I was always distracted by a lot of things (“life” can be distracting) – it really takes up your entire day to really do it full time.  I went through a relationship and ended that, quit my job, and moved back home for a fresh start.

When I started out, I was only making $100/mo from Youtube. I had $3k to my name when I moved out here, and I had to stretch that as much as possible. I researched *everything I could* to be the best, and just FOCUSED and got the ball rolling.

 

Did you have a 9-5 job before that?

 

I was a PA for awhile on music videos. Worked on videos with Fergie, Usher, a lot of R&B videos – really helped groom me for what I’m doing now. But it was like 18 hr days.

 

How did you become involved in the work that you currently do?

 

It was an accident. I was on myspace, and I saw a video with the YouTube watermark and realized you can embed videos. I had a video of my dad & I doing DDR at an arcade – I wanted to put it on myspace for friends to see. I used my email address and posted the video, then I saw I was getting comments, ratings, etc and it piqued my curiosity.  At that point people weren’t really doing it for money, just doing it to be creative.  At the time I didn’t even know how to transfer files off of a camera.  Started looking into the community idea on YouTube, and decided to make a video solely for Youtube and people viewing – got some comments to encourage me to make more videos and I made a parody video about some of the more well known creators and it took off.

I actually started getting a bunch of messages from this french girl (I had to use google to translate them) and kept seeing the link to my YouTube channel at the bottom.  Apparently some guy tried to act like he was me and had been stealing my photos – putting them on his page, and trying to seduce her.  YouTube put the story on it’s front page and I went from 500-5000 subscribers in one week.

In the beginning it was a fun community that wasn’t tainted by money, people want to be popular and belong.  Now a lot of them have let the popularity or money go to their head and it’s affected the atmosphere.

 

Have you ever had any issues with psycho stalkers or obsessed fans?  

 

I used to work on my stuff at a coffee shop and I’d check in there.  Fans would show up, and it would just feel a little disconcerting.  Some friends on YouTube have told me that people have showed at their house, sometimes blogs that didn’t like an individual would post their personal info, credit card info getting stolen, & fbi would have to get involved to fix the situation.

 

How much longer do you envision yourself working in the field that you’re in?

 

I don’t know really, I don’t really have a time limit on it – it’s really just dove tailed and I’m faithful that this YouTube thing will lead me into my next thing.

YouTube has taught me a lot about video production and SEO. I’d definitely consider consulting for aspiring youtube.  I’ve been all over speaking on channels on building an online brand.  A lot of it seems common sense to me, but it’s been so long that I’ve been involved that I forget most people don’t understand the dynamic of it all.

A lot of people just try to copycat others, they don’t produce genuine content of what they really want to do. Inconsistency. Imagine your channel like a regular TV show.

The internet is one of the most brutally honest places – people hide behind that anonymity and feel comfortable being completely honest.

 

What level of schooling have you completed?

 

High School. I went to college for a couple years & got scouted by a record label on the East Coast – boy band at 19, and that was my first Hollywood lesson. Just cause you have a deal doesn’t mean you’ve “made it”.  I decided at one point that I just needed to get out here.  So I worked 19 doubles in a row at Benningans (where I worked at the time) and moved to LA.

 

What is it that you love about your work?

 

I love that I can affect people on a global level from my bedroom. Some of my fan-mail comes from people all over the world, telling me how much they look up to me – seeing that I can have a positive change on people is amazing.

There was an incident that happened a few months ago where I got into an online argument with a girl about gay rights – people who oppose it really don’t budge and often don’t listen. It was really cool to see her come back months later and say she realized she had been ignorant.  It’s amazing to see that kind of change in someone and be a part of it.

When I was at a YouTube conference (Bitcon), this 13 yr old girl hobbles over with a cane, shows a friendship bracelet she made while in the hospital and told me, “your videos were the only thing that made me smile while I was in the hospital getting back surgery.  Stuff like that is so humbling, and so awesome. It’s pretty amazing.

Being your own boss doesn’t suck.

I also really like how I can engage with people.  Others’ channels are more of a ‘show’, while mine is more of a conversation.

 

What is your least favorite thing about your work?

 

It’s verrrry time consuming. 60-80 hrs of work, but it really doesn’t seem like it because I love doing it.

I really don’t like how popularity and money has changed certain people.  It’s become less and less about community, but that’s kind of how things go. Money brings out a different side of people.

 

Have you ever felt discouraged from haters or felt negatively influenced by others to quit pursuing your job?

 

Yeah. Because the internet is so anonomous, people say some really harsh stuff – “you’re worthless, talentless, go die in a hole”.  You have to have really thick skin.  It’s usually people that have nothing to contribute that are saying this stuff.  Just people that want to bring others down.

A lot of it is kids – primary audience is 13-17 on YouTube, so you can’t really blame them – they don’t have a completely developed grasp on how their words affect people.

 

What are some of the advantages of your job compared with the regular corporate career?

 

I do what I want…the activities of the day are entirely up to me.  My own vision.  Unadulterated.

 

Would you say it’s pretty crucial to have an open mind doing what you do?

 

Totally – you spend so much time building the audience, there’s definitely a value. It can’t all be about money, you just have to do things just to do them based off the pure value of the experience.  Recognize the full benefits of whatever you’re getting yourself involved with.

 

What are some of the disadvantages compared with the regular corporate career?

 

If you are not driven, there’s no one to push you or tell you what to do. You gotta drive yourself and figure out what you need to do. If you don’t have hustle, then what are you doing?

 

How different is the dating scene for you? Is it easier/harder to make time to be with your significant other?

 

I’ve always been a firm believer in making time to be with someone.

 

What do they say about your line of work?

 

People still don’t have the respect for what YouTube really is.  They don’t recognize it as an industry, and that it is a career.  It’s something that takes a lot of time and dedication for.

Sometimes I have to flake on meeting up because of something that might seem silly to them.

They don’t understand the fans. I have girls proposing marriage on my videos, and they don’t understand the dynamic and what that kind of thing really is. It’s not like everyone else’s facebook account – I have to engage with those kind of fans and it’s not because I want to hook up with them.  After I respond and show my audience that I care – that might cause them to go to itunes and download my song, share my YouTube account, etc.

You gotta find someone that gets it.

 

What are typical conversations like between you and other youtube partners?

 

There’s always the business aspect of it because of all the collaboration. Sometimes you can kinda tell if people are trying to get to your audience, etc. We all really talk about the topics that affect us as a community.

 

Do you have an end goal in line in regards to film/video/music? Or are you just going where the wind blows?

 

You always have to think about the future. Doing the acapella videos are really inspiring. I hate video editing, but I could sit & edit a piece of music for hours. It’d be really cool to do that for other artists and bring out their potential to the best it could be.

I don’t have an obsession to be in front of the camera, it just so happens that I’ve built a brand around a personality and that avenue is video.

 

What does your family think of your work?

 

My family is awesome. They all subscribe to my YouTube, they’re on twitter. My mom has a picture of me on her HS teachers desk and tells her students about her son – the “internet sensation”. My dad calls and comments about things I’ve put up, offer feedback.

One time I was in a rap battle, my parents went out and got materials to build me a cool looking set so I could make a video.

 

Do you tend to prefer to live paycheck to paycheck or with a savings plan accounted for? Is your income predictable and regular, or entirely dependent on what you produce?

 

The money on youtube is so inconsistent – sometimes you put away money when you can.  Sometimes things just don’t get seen, and you just have to keep going.

For any people out there that think it’s a windfall of money – good luck!

 

How do you imagine your retirement, or lifestyle past 60?

 

I don’t – right now I’m just trying to figure out my place. I’m not worried about it, I’m above no job.  I’ll find my way.

 

Do you see your career facilitating a lifestyle suitable for a family, or do you have the desire to have a family?

 

I have the desire to have a family, and because the income is so inconsistent – it kind of weighs on me at times.

Life takes you crazy places. My original plan was to be a choir teacher in the Midwest.  I just keep hustling and trust that whatever I do will grow.  I want to be a provider for sure.

 

What are your top priorities in the ‘big picture’?

 

I do want to travel. I’d love to find a way to travel & work. If I could find some kind of brand-integration deal that took me overseas, that’d be awesome.

You spend so much time in your room working on this stuff – I want to go out and see stuff.

 

If you had any advice to someone just graduating college or thinking about switching careers, what would it be?

 

If you’re changing your path – realize it will take a lot of sacrafice –you have to be okay with that.  When I quit bartending to do YouTube full time, I rolled the dice – I could have landed on my ass flat broke. Realize it will take time to make yourself secure.

 

Who inspires you?

 

My dad – he didn’t have the upbringing that I did, he had to work really hard and overcome adversity to be the successful man that he came to be. He could have sat and wallowed in his own issues. It’s a choice – and he chose to do better.  It’s admirable in any walk of life.

Mystery Guitar Man – Joe Penna. He’s my best friend. He’s a YouTube guy, has 2m subscribers, does 2 videos a week – he worked his butt off and went from a studio apartment to a house in the hills. I’m so proud of that kid. He’s a prime example of someone that finds something they love to do and does it well – you’ll be rewarded for it.

 

What do you think of authority?

 

I’m one who follows the rules for the most part. I bend rules sometimes. I’m kind of one that tends to play it safe. People set those rules for a reason. It’s disrespectful to go in someone’s place and just frankly disobey the standards they’ve set up.

 

What did you get into the most trouble for when you were young?

 

I think I was 6 or 7 yrs old, I was in my parents minivan and was playing around – hit the car into neutral, the van rolled down the driveway across the cul de sac and hit the side of the neighbors house. I think I’m still grounded.

 

~FUN QUESTIONS~

 

What did you want to be when you want to be when you grew up?

 

3 things – singer, sharp shooter for the CIA, and a meteorologist.

 

What are some of your favorite sounds?

 

Laughter for sure. The sound people make when they’re talking to their dogs to make their heads tilt.

 

What’s your favorite curse word?

 

I love the word Cunt – it’s so powerful. Starts with a CUH…and Unggg. Way more powerful than fuck.

 

What’s your favorite memory from your past? 

 

My dad’s a work-a-holic, when I was a kid – he would come home from work in his suit, I’d get in this wagon, and we’d ride in it together down the driveway each day he came home from work.

 

If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be, and why?

 

I’d be a dog. I don’t think that’s a bad thing – all men are dogs.

 

What are some of your favorite smells?

 

I love women’s perfume and my audience knows this. My PO Box is the most fragrant thing in the world. It’s funny – letters from fans are distracting while I edit.

 

If you were a character in a famous movie, who’s role would you play?

 

Mogley in the jungle book. I was a climber when I was a kid – playing with animals, climbing trees and just chilling out. And not wearing pants.

 

If you could go back to any point in history for a month, what time period would you visit?

 

I’d go back to when that jesus was around – just clear some stuff up and write a book about it. Real Deal Jesus.

 

If there was one celebrity you’d like to punch in the face, who would it be?

 

I wouldn’t punch anyone to be honest. But those people create balance in this world.

 

If you had to obtain $1m illegally, how would you do it?

 

I’d probably steal it from the government somehow. Hidden gold bars or something.

 

Which long lost childhood object would you most like to find?

 

I took part in a candy bar selling competition when I was in grade school, and there was a killer prize of a brand new bicycle. I got the bike, rode it all the time – rode to school one day and someone just destroyed it.  I had a broken arm when I was selling those bars and I worked so hard for it.  Really sucked to see it get messed up by somebody.

 

What age do people become “old”, what’s the secret to staying young?

 

Never. They become old when their brain gets old. My dad’s 60 and people think he’s in his 30’s because he’s sharp, ya know.

My great grandma was a card shark and would talk smack.

Doing YouTube stuff keeps me around the young scene – keeps me feeling young.

 

What’s your favorite quotation?

 

“Success is not a result of spontaneous combustion – you must set yourself on fire.”

 

If someone wanted to get in touch with you and ask you more about what it takes to get involved in your career, what would be the best way?

 

Twitter or Facebook – Twitter.com/supricky06 and Facebook.com/supricky06

 

On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to get back to them?

 

7, if they keep it to the point

 

PS – here’s an example of one of Chris’ most recent videos to see a sample of what he does.  Hope you enjoy!

If you got a lot out of this article & think you might know others that would as well, I’d love it if you’d tweet/share on facebook.

 

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wachim - tus videos son padrisimosMarch 19, 2014 – 7:04 pm

Craig - Tim, great interview! My favorite question was, what celebrity would you punch. This guy’s answer about Jesus is super original! Well done!February 9, 2013 – 11:11 am

How to grow your network of clients & friends

One of the most common questions I get from other photographers or people interested in my line of work is,

“So how’d you get this gig?”

And while the short answer of it may be simple “A past client referred me when their friend asked for a recommendation on a photographer”…the dynamic behind it all is much more complex.

I never just attribute each new client to the random “chance” that every person automatically points them in my direction due to the quality of my work. I attribute it to the fact that I’m always in the front of their minds and that it’s easier to have me pop in their head vs someone else they’ve worked with just a few months ago.

I think a lot of people approach business as a sprint rather than a marathon, and I wanted to take some time to explain why it’s the worst idea in the world.

Say you get someone’s business and you deliver them an awesome product. Great right? Yes. But where the real value is that this *first* interaction opens up the door towards developing one new relationship to include in your social circle.  The communication drops – you just stopped watering the plant that could have bloomed into some hella-beautiful flowers.

Regardless of whether or not you’d ever work with that client again, you’ve made a great initial impression. And that’s all you need. Because you’ve shown them your capable, and you’ve shown them you’re a great fit.  They’re now in the position to recommend you to anyone with full confidence.

What next?

HELP THEM however you can. Think of them often. When you see something that makes you think of them, send it to them. Could be a text, email, or on their facebook page.

I can’t stand when social interaction between two people steeps so low as to only get in touch when one person needs something from the other. HUGE.FUCKING.TURN-OFF.  (One of the worst feelings is getting that text “how are you?” and then shortly after – receiving a big long bulk text asking for you to refer business their way.  Trying to “fake” being genuinely interested works against you in the WORST possible way.  I’ll never EVER refer someone to that person based off that kind of sneaky tactic alone.  It has to truly come from the heart.  You want something?  Be up-front about it.  Don’t just send me a mass-produced text and move on to the next.  That’ll be your express ticket to getting deleted out of my contacts.  I’m sure you’ve felt the experience of feeling like a “number” to someone.  It’s not pleasant – and you’re no “one-night stand”.  You deserve at least a dinner damn’t.)

Transactional-style business is unpleasant, and takes the humanity out of working together. Add in some flavor. LISTEN to people when they talk about what their interests are. And then surprise-the-fuck-out-of-them with some originality and send something that’s specific to their life or what affects them on the reg’.

I want to make a point to make it known that I don’t do this kind of stuff  in a strategic/manipulative way to gain new clients – it’s just how I live my life.  I do this kind of stuff for clients and I do this for people that have an extremely low impact on my life and probably wont have ANYTHING to do with my work at any point in time – sometimes they live thousands of miles away!

But I can’t stress to you how much it TRULY makes a difference to be original in your communications and really can’t express how much value it brings in terms of attracting the right kind of people into your life.

So since I know some people like to skip straight to the bottom and some people need a little summary of it all, here are a few key take-aways for you to help grow your network. (Think of it like a garden – water those plants, feed em nutrients, HELL – talk to those ferns!! Ask ‘em how their day went!)

-LISTEN TO PEOPLE, AND MAKE A POINT TO REMEMBER THINGS PERSONAL TO THEM.

-CALL SOMEONE ON THE PHONE.  DON’T JUST TEXT.  ASK THEM ABOUT HOW THEY’VE BEEN AND TAKE GENUINE INTEREST IN THEIR LIFE.

-HELP PEOPLE CONNECT WITH OTHERS THAT DEVELOP SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIPS

-DON’T JUST DO THE BARE MINIMUM.  THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORDINARY AND EXTRAORDINARY IS THAT LITTLE BIT OF “EXTRA”

-BE ORIGINAL.  BE YOU.  DON’T TRY TO PRETEND TO BE SOMEONE ELSE.  THERE ARE NO COVER BANDS IN THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME

-ASK HOW YOU CAN HELP OR IMPROVE SOMEONE’S CIRCUMSTANCES.

-STOP BEING LAZY AND OFFER A HAND WHEN YOU CAN HELP.  WATCH SOMEONE’S MANCOON CAT FOR A WEEK IF THEY NEED A CATSITTER (I DID THIS A FEW WEEKS AGO)  PICK SOMEONE UP AT THE AIRPORT.  (IF YOU REALLY WANT TO MAKE THEIR DAY, EMAIL ME AT TIM@TIMKINGBLOG.COM AND I’LL TELL YOU A WAY YOU CAN BLOW THEIR MIND)

-SUPPORT YOUR FRIENDS.  IT’S FUNNY, I’VE FOUND THOSE CLOSEST TO ME HARDLY EVER “LIKE” MY POSTS – GO OUT OF YOUR WAY TO MAKE IT KNOWN YOU SUPPORT YOUR FRIENDS.  IT REALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE.

-HELP STRANGERS.  FOR NO REASON AT ALL, BUT THE FACT THAT YOU *CAN*

 

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I hope you got some value out of this post.  If you agree with what I’ve said and want others to follow the same mentality – help me encourage others and “share” this blog post on facebook or twitter.

 

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BONUS – if you ever want to talk marketing or photography – I often tweet out at moments when I’ve got some extra time to kill & offer to chat on the phone about anything you want.  Find me at @timkingphoto

 

Have a great one guys!

PS – thanks to my friend Josh for this shot!

PPS – if you want to watch something that had a HUGE impact on how I think about how I approach social media/relationships, watch this clip.  It’s an hour long, but really worth watching.  Grab yourself some popcorn and a notepad – and afterwards let me know what you got out of it!

Phil Lambert - This has to be the best one I have seen in a while:

“-BE ORIGINAL. BE YOU. DON’T TRY TO PRETEND TO BE SOMEONE ELSE. THERE ARE NO COVER BANDS IN THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME”

Very good read.February 8, 2013 – 4:04 pm

Kristin Bobb - Thanks so much for sharing this, Tim! I really loved the video, he is hilarious, and so smart.February 8, 2013 – 6:38 am

Anastasiya - I am not in the photography business. In fact, i am in no business at all. But you’ve described the kind of behavior im trying to practice in every day life. Like you said, I’ve experienced being just a number to somebody and it’s not the most pleasant thing ever, so i cut these people off (gently, step by step), and i am making sure none of the people who matters to me feel like “just a number’.It’s so important for everybody to know that they matter!February 8, 2013 – 2:50 am

Lisa Strickland - Great piece, Tim. There’s value in being genuine – thanks for reminding us not to lose sight of that.February 7, 2013 – 10:24 pm

Cajsa Andersson - Well, Tim, you are inspiring! And I guess I got a little bit to deep into this. BUT, if you want to read about what I think and my evaluation of it all take a look at;

http://anderssoncajsa.tumblr.com/post/42557453536/im-a-kind-of-girl-who-switch-mood-every-5-minutes#disqus_thread

Best regards,
CajsaFebruary 7, 2013 – 8:02 pm

amber fischer - Holy mother, you’re so right. As I read this I could see certain people in my mind who have done this to/for me – sent me links just because they thought of me, told their friends about my business, shot me a text to say “hi.” Those people stand out in my mind as being super awesome…. and I totally want other people to think of ME as being super awesome. Seriously, you’re onto something here. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Really great stuff for everyone – not just those trying to build a business and market.February 7, 2013 – 6:04 pm

Natalie Holtz - Very informative and great tips.February 7, 2013 – 5:46 pm

Michael - Epic post my friend. You know, I’ve been in the same industry for over 25 years, but STILL need to remind myself how important it is to not loose touch of the fact that we are all people, with real feelings, real insecurities, and ultimately in need if real connections. It’s easy to loose site of that. Thanks for the reminder!February 7, 2013 – 5:34 pm

Danny - Excellent post Tim! Loved the line “no cover bands in the rock and roll hall of fame”…so true.

This post rang true for me, I have a couple of friends whom I considered close only to find out I had only started to hear from them when they needed something or had extreme negativity to pass along. Was extremely off putting as you said. I called them out on it only to have them back pedal, deny and attempt to weasel out of what was clear as day, but the damage was done…this was a repeated pattern over several years. No time to waste on people like that in our lives.

And yes, doing things for others without some quid pro quo attached is one of the keys to truly becoming a person of sound character. While at the same time staying top of mind to those in your social vortex, so when and if they can help YOU out they’ll willingly to do. You’re a good man Tim, keep up passing on the wisdom :)February 7, 2013 – 5:05 pm

Heather - LOVE that you’re writing again, I love following you and your adventures! Thanks for sharing :-)February 7, 2013 – 4:57 pm