I don’t want to say I’m not easily impressed but realistically, you won’t catch me fanning out over any sort of athlete, reality TV persona (EVER), or musician. Now let’s not get it twisted, they are accomplished in their own right, but we’re all human and all flawed, except Beyonce. She woke up like that, #FLAWLESS.
I am invested in the development of the relationship between creativity and business. Bey’s counterpart, yes, no question, I love most of his creative work but look at his business. Cue Jay’s voice, “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!” He GAVE Rocawear away knowing he was going to run Def Jam and still control it. Or go back further, his “retirement”? As a junior in high school, I was devastated. As an adult, I’m golf clapping recognizing his “retirement” had to have ended contracts, cut losses and essentially put him in a position to take more control of his career.
My point being, if there is anything I want from any successful human, it’s their story, their knowledge. I don’t need a photo with them for my Instagram to caption “kickin’ it with the homie”, I need their 10 minutes filled with very best of advice.
Together Jyll Brown, of Remember Me Green, and I attended the AGENDA Emerge event, powered by Group Y, last week at NYU’s Skirball Center. AGENDA Emerge is the creative and brand building conference that takes place during the AGENDA Tradeshows. Check the videos below.
We saw Bobby Hundreds (@bobbyhundreds), Johnny Cupcakes (@JohnnyCupcakes), Jeff Staple (@Jeffstaple) and Marc Ecko (@marcecko) speak. If you have any interest in branding or entrepreneurship, follow them.
During Polar Vortex 2.0, after some incredible magic tricks by Johnny Cupcakes, a full “class” settled into what we were told would be just as valuable as a college course. Each of the fellas briefly went through their backgrounds. A very common theme among them was to find your passion and work it to death.
Bobby Hundreds stressed, “Blood, Sweat and Years”, more literally meaning heart, hard work and long term investment. Johnny Cupcakes, recommended to get more excited about the process than the outcome. Stay in the moment and continually work on your passion. Similarly, Jeff Staple said, “Ride the wave”, pointing out he didn’t start working with the Fader with a plan to turn it into a sneaker deal with Nike, but it did. Take opportunities as they come, invest and be able to develop with them. Marc Ecko offered his “Authenticity Formula” to provide focus and guidance to the room full of creatives.
They were all VERY informative and engaging. Further, each speaker offered a promo code on their Twitters a couple days prior to the event, bringing the $100 ticket price down to $60 (if there’s a promo code, you already know I’m going to find it).
Something else notable and very refreshing, there weren’t any “walked up hill both ways” type of statements made by these guys. They knew, we recognized their path wasn’t easy, so they didn’t waste everyone’s time “lecturing”. It was explicitly real and honest. So. Much. Respect.