Shahzil Shaz Amin

Hey there, I'm Shahzil Amin, Shaz for short. I really like to play and watch many types of sports, namely basketball (Mavs Fan For Life) and football (Cowboys). I'm also a big sucker for buffalo wings and midnight movie premiers. Oh and the way to my heart is through warm chocolate chip cookies, just in case you were wondering.

I started Blue Track Media out of high school because I was really fascinated by online ads. During college I also started Plugged Inc. because I have a huge passion for music. Early 2014 my first company, Blue Track Media, was acquired by Karlani Capital. I talk a little about that here if you're interested. I'm currently a Managing Partner at Karlani and blessed to be surrounded by an all-star caliber of cast who share the same dreams as I do. We invest in passionate entrepreneurs.

But enough about that boring stuff. What really interests is finding ways I can inspire the world. I'm still on my journey to figure out my place in the universe and impact it in a meaningful way. Won't you join me?

I sold out. Blue Track Media acquired by Karlani Capital

Yeah, I know. This is a true WTF moment. I’m as shocked as you are. Never would I have expected to sit here and tell you that I sold my baby; that I made what people like to call an “exit”.  On April 4th 2014, Blue Track Media was officially acquired by Karlani Capital, where I am now a managing partner. This was a long time in the making with the constant back and forth battle in my mind over the question “are you sure you want to do this?” I built Blue Track Media from the ground up. There were countless nights during my 4 years at University of Texas at Dallas where I would stay up and work until the sun came up. Why then would I sell my baby when all that hard work is finally paying off? I’m sure there are going to be a lot of questions asked about this acquisition so I made a list of the most common ones along with my answers.

However before I do, I want to thank first and foremost my mother and my sister for the tremendous amount of support and inspiration they continue to give me. I don’t think I would ever be here today without both of you, thank you.  I also want to thank the rest of my family, friends, mentors and anyone who has helped me along the way. It means a lot to me that all of you believed in me, even when the world was against me.

Why did you sell Blue Track Media?

That’s an easy one. I sold it because online advertising wasn’t going to be the end of my dreams and goals - it was merely a beginning. The end goal has and always will be to impact the world in a meaningful way. With Karlani, I’m convinced that’s where we are headed. It’s not every day that you come across a group of such a highly talented and intellectual group of individuals that believe in your abilities and are there at a drop of a hat to supplement your growth. Five months (unofficially) of being a key part of Karlani has already paid out ten-fold with the amount of knowledge and experience I’ve acquired. Imagining where I’ll be in a year from now, it’s unbelievable. This is the type of stuff they don’t teach you in college. This is the type of stuff you can’t just learn on your own. This is the type of stuff you learn when you are surrounded by people who share your vision and passion as well as push you everyday to reach new heights.

As much as this acquisition is about personal growth and goals, it’s just as equal if not more about the growth of Blue Track Media. With the backing of Karlani Capital, Blue Tack Media will continue accelerating its growth at a fast rate and take on new avenues that weren’t possible before.

Who is Karlani?

If you look at the website, you’ll see that Karlani is a Venture Capital firm that “builds, buys, and invests in fast-growing, technology-enabled companies that serve and enrich humanity.” Put another way, Karlani is a operating firm that invests in passionate entrepreneurs with exciting ideas.

If you look at the team, it’s full of what I like to call an “all-star” cast:

- We got the “Grand Poobah" Rudy Karsan, who is the Founder and CEO of Kenexa, which he took public in 2005 and then sold to IBM for $1.3 Billion dollars. That’s “billion”, with a “B”.

- Up next we got the “Silent Assassin" Donald Volk who is one of the best financial minds in the country. He’s the one that makes sure you’ve got enough money in the bank to support that high-growth phase of your company. Oh and he’s pretty funny too.

- Then we have the “The Closer," Nyla Koncurat who we have the up most confidence in getting the deal closed. She has vast experience ranging from her time at JP Morgan to her time starting her own restaurant and private event facility in Argentina. She’s hella good with numbers and executing deals. I like to call her my side-kick.

- Going forward we have “The Alchemist" Bob Aglira who is one of the best strategic minds in the country. He’s the guy that effectively figures out how to get you to the next level. 

- Lastly we have “Shaaazam!" I’ll let you make your own judgment about him and his credentials.

With the amount of capital available today, worthy entrepreneurs will find people or VC firms to invest in their ideas. Karlani can do that as well but we offer something more unique. We offer this all-star cast of individuals who are expert operators. While everyone else will throw money your way, we’re the guys that will help you build your company from 0 to 1000 employees.  We’re the ones that will help you out of a rough patch and “go into the bat cave” with you to brainstorm (as one of our entrepreneurs says). We’re the ones who will help you take your company public or plan out your billion dollar exit strategy.

That’s who Karlani is.

image

What is your new role?

I thought “Shaaazam!” was a role? Well technically I’m a Managing Partner at Karlani. But I like to think I’m just the guy who “Shaaazam!” Gets shit done.

As managing partner I’m responsible for:

- Sourcing deals (finding new companies to invest in)
- Accurately assessing deal flow (doing research on all the companies that want funding)
- Casting my vote (yay or nay) on new investments
- Using my expertise to help our current portfolio companies achieve success

This is all in addition to my CEO role at Blue Track Media as well as my Founder role at Plugged Inc.

What happens to Blue Track Media?

Nothing really changes. Blue Track Media will still have the best technology, team, and support in the industry. I’m still the CEO and now we have strong backing. With that backing we can continue to grow as we dabble into new areas of digital marketing, such as mobile. You can find more information about it on the BTM blog. The future is pretty exciting!

What about Plugged Inc.?

As of today Plugged Inc. is not a part of Karlani. I am as much a part of Plugged Inc. as I ever have been and it’s still a huge focus and passion of mine. We will do big things and I’ll be right in the trenches every step of the way. This is another company of mine where I can confidently say that I’ve surrounded myself with a badass team that’s capable of immense success.

How do you find the time to juggle 3 roles?

Well I can’t say I’m as amazing as my idol Elon Musk at juggling so many roles. But I like to think I’m doing an okay job so far. As Rudy says, we look for the types of people that get shit done regardless of what obstacles come in their way. If they have to they’ll pull all-nighters to get it finished.

I consider myself one of those people.

How did you get to this point?

If you look at my life, at my blog posts, at my sayings, etc., you’ll see how I got to this point. To put it blunt, I worked my ass off. I chose a lifetime of happiness instead of 4 years of enjoying college. I made big sacrifices which secluded me from the world for what at the time seemed like a very long time. I dropped the people in my life that brought negative energy, envy, and doubt. I traveled far away from my bubble in Dallas, TX. I made sure to meet as many people as I could and help them out as much as possible (pay it forward). I surrounded myself with people I look up to and who push me to be the best possible version of myself. I hustled every single day of my life. And last, I refused to fail as this was never really about me, it was about my family.

And though I phrase all that as the past, it’s still how I am presently. That’s how I got here.

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What’s next?

Great question. Is “change the world” a good response? No? Okay.

I was told by a very wise man to imagine myself as a running back playing on a team without any blockers. Even without them, I was able to score touchdowns. Now imagine the amount of touchdowns I’ll score with a legit group of blockers. The possibilities are endless.

People in the startup world would consider this an “exit,” but as I said, I’m not taking it as one. This is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. I haven’t even relished in this moment yet. I haven’t had time to breathe and really articulate this monumental point in my life. I never thought that I’d reach this point in my career so fast. I was always planning on getting here when I was around 40 years old. It came very fast, but I’m very excited and ready for this challenge. I believe I have a lot to offer the world, and if I can’t find an idea to change the world myself, I’ll be more than willing to help and invest in a company that does.

One thing I do know is that nothing has changed. I’m still the guy I used to be. This DOES NOT mean fancy cars and “money to blow” type of mentality. I’ll still wear socks and sandals as well as the same t-shirt multiple days in a row. I’ll still answer your texts, pick up your phone calls, and answer your emails. I just might do all those things very slowly. I promise that I’ll always be there to support and help as my time and energy permits. I’m more than happy to have a conversation and give advice where needed. I just ask that you value my time as I will value yours and do any research necessary before our conversation.

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m my biggest critic so I’m not going to bust out with the Drake remix to “We Made It” because with the goals I’ve set for myself I’m far from that. But I’m getting there. However I will bust out with the song below which is what I think our team at Karlani will do.

Que my man Kanye West.

The Alchemist - The Most Memorable Quotes IMO

You know what feels good? Making a New Years Resolution of reading AT LEAST 5 books this year and being 20% there within the first few days of January. Boom! I thank my new Kindle Paperwhite for helping me achieve this. 

The first book I finished this year is The Alchemist and wow, I loved it. I was recommended this book by a very dear friend who knows the type of person I am and what I value, and he pinned the nail on the donkey with this book. I connected extremely well with this book. It reinforced many of my beliefs and made me see things in a different light. 

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While reading I highlighted some key quotes that I want to remember for years to come. They’re the points that I connected with the most. If you haven’t read the book yet, read a few of the things that resonated with me below and quickly grab the book if you think this book is the type of book you can also connect to. 

PS> This was a b%^&* to type out. Sorry for typos.

My Favorite Quotes from The Alchemist:

"The boy knew a lot of people in the city. That was what made traveling appeal to him - he always made new friends, and he didn’t need to spend all of his time with them. when someone sees the same people every day, as had happened with him at the seminary, they wind up becoming a part of that person’s life. And then they want the person to change. If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own."


—-

"What’s the world’s greatest lie?" the boy asked, completely surprised.

"It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie."

—-

The boy didn’t know what a person’s “destiny” was. 

"It’s what you have always wanted to accomplish.

Everyone, when they are young, knows what their destiny is.

At that point in their lives, everything is clear and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their destiny.”

—-

"The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

—-

But the sheep had taught him something even more important: that there was a language in the world that everyone understood, a language in the world that everyone understood, a language the boy had used throughout time that he was trying to improve things at the shop. 

It was the language of enthusiasm, of things accomplished with love and purpose, as a part of a search for something believed in and desired. Tangier was no longer a strange city, and he felt that, just as he had conquered this place, he could conquer the world.

—-

"When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it."

—-

The closer one gets to realizing his destiny, the more that destiny becomes his true reason for being.

—-

"That’s the principle that governs all things," he said. "In alchemy, it’s called Soul of the World. When you want something with all your heart, that’s when you are the closest to the Soul of the World. It’s always a positive force."

—-

"Because I don’t live in either my past of my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. You’ll see that there is life in the desert, that there are stars in the heavens, and that tribesmen fight because they are part of the human race. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living right now."

—-

It was the pure language of the world. It required no explanation, just as the universe needs none as it travels through endless time. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. He was more certain of it than of anything in the world. He had been told by his parents and grandparents that he must fall in love and really know a person before being committed. But maybe people who felt that way had never learned the universal language. Because, when you know that language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city. And when two such people encounter each other, and their eyes meet, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.

—-

"When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream."

—-

"It is not what enters men’s mouths that’s evil," said the alchemist. "It’s what comes out of their mouths that is."

—-

"You must understand that love never keeps a man from pursuing his destiny. If he abandons that pursuit, it’s because it wasn’t true love… the love that speaks the Language of the World"

—-

"There is only one way to learn," the alchemist answered. "It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey."

—-

"Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the Soul of the World, and one day it will return there."

—-

"My heart is a traitor," the boy said to the alchemist. "It doesn’t want me to go on."

"That makes sense," the alchemist answered. "Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won."

"Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?"

"Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you’re thinking about life and about the world."

"You’ll never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say. That way, you’ll never have to fear an unanticipated blow."

—-

People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in sands. Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly.

"Tell you’re heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity."

—-

But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them - the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”

—-

"What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies to thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.’

—-

"Every search begins with beginner’s luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested."

—-

"Usually the threat of death makes people a lot more aware of their lives."

"This is what we call love. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you, and even men can turn themselves into the wind."

—-

"That’s what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too."

Amazing book.

Because I’m Just That New Years Resolutions Type of Guy - 2014

Had an obvious idea this year for my New Years resolutions. I thought to myself, “Hey, why not write down my New Years resolutions in my blog so I can actually be held accountable for them?” 

Great idea Shahzil! I’m going to write them all down here and check back every month to see if I’m making progress. I tend to stick to goals a lot better when they’re written down and I can easily self reflect on them.

Here are my goals for 2014 (keeps growing):

1. Read ATLEAST 5 books.

PROBLEM: I started noticing a huge trend with all the successful and insightful people I have met in 2013. That trend is, they read, a lot. I can talk to these people for hours with the amount of knowledge they have and are willing to share. 

SOLUTION: Putting my foot down and forcing myself to read. Bought my Kindle Paperwhite, loaded a few books in it already, and off to the races I go. No more using self-diagnosed ADD as an excuse for my lack of reading actual books. I read articles all day long, but books are just as important, if not more. All it takes is a few pages every night to reach my goal, I know I can do it. I will acquire all this knowledge, and then I will pass it on to as many people as I can. Never. Stop. Learning. 

In my whole life, I have known no wise people who didn’t read all the time — none, zero. You’d be amazed at how much Warren(Buffett) reads — at how much I read. My children laugh at me. They think I’m a book with a couple of legs sticking out”.”

“The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more.”

“Go to bed smarter than when you woke up.”

― Charles T. Munger

2. Become a better at showing my better side, and make my better side better.

PROBLEM: It’s funny, I started to realize that my, what some people might think of as egotistical statuses, often get misinterpreted. They’re usually rap lines from songs that I sometimes think people mistaken for my own since I get too lazy to put the quotation marks or give the rappers name. Generally people take these as me being an asshole or egotistical, which I guess is fair, but I generally have my own interpretation to these lyrics than what it seems. 

For example, I posted this lyric on my Facebook recently: 

This year I’m eating your food and my table has [fewer] plates on it.” - Drake from Versace Versace Versace Versace Versace 

General Interpretation: He’s an asshole and he’s going to make money and not share it with anyone, including me. 

My Interpretation: I’m going to work my ass off even more this year to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself. I’ve removed all the people from my life who hold me down, so even though I have fewer plates on my table, these are the plates that I want to share my life and successes with.

As you can imagine, I had a few people say “your status was mean.” Of course it’s mean if you don’t ask me what my interpretation of it is and why I posted it. I don’t usually care what people think of me, but I do care if people think that they can’t come to me for advice or issues they may have of which I can help with because they assume I’m some raging egotistical asshole based off a status update. Last year I had many people approach me for help and I gladly and willingly helped them, but I don’t want even one person to think they aren’t able to approach me unwarranted and not expect a kind and helpful response. That’s not me, and that will never be me. 

SOLUTION: I plan to do a better job of showing my friends and family that they can come to me for advice or help. I’ll reach out to them randomly and ask them point blank, “how can I help you?” I’m here for you guys, I genuinely mean that. There is a side to me that most of you probably have not gotten enough of, and I promise to give you much more of that side this year. I also plan to make the better side of me even better. I will keep removing negative thoughts from my mind, I will keep trying to see the best in people, I will keep lending out a helping hand as much as I can. 

I don’t want to live in the kind of world where we don’t look out for each other. Not just the people that are close to us, but anybody who needs a helping hand. I cant change the way anybody else thinks, or what they choose to do, but I can do my bit.” 
― Charles de Lint

3. Write real letters to those I care about (and send via snail mail).

PROBLEM: God dammit I am thankful for so many people in my life, yet they just don’t know how thankful I am of them. 

SOLUTION: I will write a few letters every month to people I care about. These letters will be filled with things they have probably never heard me say or things I don’t say enough. It’s sometimes hard to say certain things to certain people, so I plan to write it down and mail them. I’ll also take a picture of my note and hopefully recite it to them over the phone or in person one day.

If you admire somebody you should go ahead and tell em. People never get the flowers while they can still smell em." - Kanye West

The rest of my goals are pretty cliche or boring, they don’t really need a meaningful explanation with them. However they are still very important to me! Here are the rest:

4. Watch movies alone

5. Head to Central Park once a month to read

6. Take my family on a nice vacation

7. Meditate/Yoga

8. Become a better public speaker and story teller

9. Eat much healthier (duh)

10. Get a real massage twice a month

And these ladies and gents are my 2014 goals. I’ll follow back mid year to see how much I’ve progressed, that seems like a good idea.

Happiness

As I write this, I’m looking out of a window of a friend’s Pent House located in Manhattan. In front of me is the Empire, to the left of me are massive residential buildings, and below me are ordinary people, just like myself, going on about their life. It’s always fun people watching, not in a creepy way, but in a way where for 10-20 seconds I imagine myself as another person with different problems and motivations. A small escape from my current life to experience the joy and challenges of another life is quite a thrilling event for me.

Recently I’ve been traveling around a lot, so naturally people have been asking me how I’ve been as they haven’t seen me around in a while. In the past I usually have a generic response for this question which revolves around being busy at work or something. However that’s changed now. When people now ask me how I am, for the first time in my life I’m blessed that I can say that, “at this moment in life, I am very happy.”

You might read that and assume, “oh now doing whatever he wants, he’s exploring the world, work is going well, etc.” Well no, it has nothing to do with any of those materialistic things. Regardless of them, a lot of the reason I’m happy is because of the physical and mental changes I have made in the last year that have propelled me to move forward in life. You would think that the same level of happiness would occur if I took everything that’s happening in my life right now and make it happen a year earlier, but you’d be severely wrong. Last year I was chasing happiness without making any changes, but that wasn’t getting me anywhere. This year I made big changes which resulted in happiness finding me, and now it’s getting me everywhere.

Here are some of the changes I made this year:

1. People

There were people in my life that weren’t a positive influence. They had a negative aura about them that affected me in ways I couldn’t pin point, so I kept them around thinking it was unjust to end the friendship. But finally I had enough, so on November 1st, 2012 I woke up and bid them farewell. I said emphatically to myself and the world:

FAREWELL to those who claim friendship with their masks off, yet wish ill with their masks on.

FAREWELL to those who have find it simple to judge others but difficult to judge themselves.

FAREWELL to those who gain a sense of happiness in my defeats, yet a sense of envy in my victories.

FAREWELL to those who have no compassion for others and only care about their selfish wants.

FAREWELL to those who made me feel that this is luck and not hard work.

FAREWELL to those who belittle my high ambitions because they fear to dream big for themselves.

Farewell to them and welcome to all those that I choose to speak to and associate myself with today. I thank you for the happiness and positivity you have brought into my life, I truly mean that.

2. Stress

I learned to stop stressing over things that don’t matter as much in the long run. Stress is the silent assassin that we don’t take seriously enough. I pause when I’m presented with any situation that might increase the amount of stress I have and ask myself a few questions:

Is this situation a matter of life or death for anyone?

Do I have the ability myself to control the outcome of this situation?

What is an effective and quick way to mitigate this situation?

Is the Earth still spinning, the Sun still shining, and are the children still playing?

99% of the time assessing the situation with these simple questions has helped my stress levels decrease tremendously. Why stress over something I cant control? I’ll figure out a plan to fix the issue and move on. Stressing about the issue will change the outcome of it, it’ll only change the amount of hair left on my head.

3. Social Media

I stopped following people on Twitter and “friending” people on Facebook that I’m not fond of. This goes the same for LinkedIN and any other social network that pops up tomorrow. This summer I literally removed 500 connections from LinkedIN that I do not personally know or want to associate myself with. Why should we be connected just for the sake of being connected?

I would do the same with Facebook, but that doesn’t affect my professional life as much and it’s easy to limit people or remove them from showing up on my news feed. I have no desire to know what goes on in their life or their mind. Usually these are the people I said farewell to, so what good does it do me to keep seeing their name across my social media feeds? It might sound harsh, but it’s working for me.

4. Gossip

Stop gossiping. Say peace to those who gossip about others. Those who gossip about others to you, usually gossip about you to others. And if you yourself have the time to gossip about others, then you need to reassess your priorities.

Worry about yourself.

5. Critics

This is my life. I will choose to live it the way I want. Your rules and standards of how my life should be lived mean nothing to me. I can sit here and tell you that these negative things you say about me make me stronger and make me work harder. But they don’t. What you say means nothing. It has zero affect on me. I don’t even hear you. I don’t even notice you. You are nothing to me. What I say about me makes me stronger and makes me work harder.

"…I rather be hated for what I am than [be loved] for what I’m not. I’m like a machine, a robot. YOU CANNOT OFFEND A ROBOT." - Kanye West

The people I surround myself with have judged me for themselves, not off what others have said. I am very aware of the type of person I am and what I do. I’m not going to change myself to satisfy your needs. I’m doing me.

I stopped caring about what you thought about me a long time ago.

——

I’m not saying I’ve found eternal happiness, there will always be ups and downs. However I believe these are just a few steps I’ve taken to lead a happier life.

I’m happy :image

Why I Love New York City

This post is a continuation of Why I Travel So Much.

I always knew she was the one ever since I laid my eyes on her brightness my freshman year of college. But it wasn’t until I took that ballsy first step of visiting her that I started realizing how much she could offer me, how much I would grow with her, and how deeply in love I would fall for her. 

It’s hard to put into words what she has done for me. I should probably reflect on this past year and share what she has made me taught me and the experiences I’ve had with her. This is a bit stressful, I’m not sure how to get all of the thoughts that are racing through my mind on paper. But let’s try, here we go.

1. “Come here, I’m about to take you higher." - Jermaine Cole
 
She was not built for the weak. She’ll make you wish that you never left that bubble you were in where someone would be there to catch you if you fell. She’ll make you feel lonely even in a crowded room. She’ll introduce you many people who are making more money than you, or doing something that seems a hell of a lot more fulfilling than your mundane job. She’ll repeatedly kick you hard while you’re down. But if you’re willing to take such a beating, and you’re willing to find ways to lift yourself up off the ground, she will lift you higher and higher every time you get back up.
 
P.S. > She does a damn good job of turning boys into men.
 
 
2. “Your real friends will serve you long, acquaintances will fade." - Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones
 
Yes, she is a gold mine for networking. Everyone she introduces you to works at some interesting company that might align with something you need or want. They might also know a person - who knows a person - who knows a person that purposely took a leak right next to Leonardo DiCaprio (that would be me). I’m not a big fan of people who try to network for personal benefits. If you look at most successful entrepreneurs, they build relationships with people, not clump them into their LinkedIn network and act like they know them. When I meet someone new, whom I feel is a genuine person, I focus more on how I can help them instead of how they can help me. It’s ironic how this works though. When you approach relationship building (not networking) with the intention to give, you some how end up getting back more in the long run. 
 
Don’t be “that guy.” Build real, honest relationships with people you enjoy being around. 
 
 
3. “I’m different, yeah I’m different.” - Tauheed Epps
 
She breeds them differently down here. Everybody who moved here to be with her is already considered a risk taker. Maybe it’s the types of people she surrounds me with, or the types of people I choose to be surrounded with, but I can’t stop feeling that everyone around me has some immense wisdom and knowledge that I can learn from. They left their ideal life to make $5k more, yet live at 2x the expense. They have the same 24/7 hustle mentality that I pride myself in. They all set those big ludicrous goals for themselves that I admire. They’re all trying to find meaning with their life and not afraid to admit they have yet to know what they want. They judge less what you do, and more what they’ve done. They are the ones who can inspire, teach, relate, grow, and most importantly, enjoy my successes as well as mourn in my failures. 
 
These are the types of people I was in search of. They are the ones I choose to surround myself with. They are the ones I emulate.
 
 
4. “Nothing handed out, I’m about to take mine.” - Yeezus
 
Self explanatory. She won’t hand anything to you. She’ll throw you in with the sharks and watch you struggle trying to take what you desire. She’s like my father when I was 7-8 years old. He didn’t hold my hand and teach me how to swim. He picked me up, threw me into the water, and watched as I figured it out. 
 
I figured it out.
 
 
5. “Life movin’ too fast, it need to slow down." - Yeezy
 
She moves fast. She’s the type to tell you that she already loves you just after a week of knowing you. Does she mean it? Who knows. But she has mastered the art of speeding up time without us really realizing it. And she won’t even take a look back to see where you are. You have to keep up with her, or get left behind. When I take a look back at where I was a year ago and compare it to where I am now, I’m shocked at how much I’ve experienced in this time span. The 1 year I spent with her equals to all the years combined that I spent with my ex-girl.
 
But one thing I would personally like to work on is not being too caught up with the future and where I want to end up, because I tend to forget where I am now and the journey I’m on to get there. Although she moves fast, it’s important that I enjoy the precious times I have with her in this very moment.
 
 
6. “Started not to give a @#$% and stopped fearing the consequence.” - Aubrey Graham 
 
The more I cared what others thought and what they said about me, the less I accomplished and the less happier I was. Then on November 1st, 2012 I woke up and said “@#$% what they think, I’m going to do me.”
 
That was the day I started accomplishing much more and becoming much happier.
 
 
7. “I came. I acquired. I spread." - Shazzy/Shazzus/Me
 
She’s not the girl that I’ll end up with, and she knows it. But she is the girl that I’ll never forget and I’ll always have a small place inside my heart for. Our relationship is temporary. I came to her, I’m going to take everything she has to offer, and then I’ll eventually leave.  Not everyone is privileged enough in life to enjoy her company for a long period of time. At the end of our relationship she will have taught me more than any other girl could have, and I have made a promise to her that I will make the world a better place because of it. I will share and pass on all the knowledge she has blessed me with to those who seek it.
 
That’s the only way she’ll agree to let me go, and the only way I’d actually leave her.
 
This is the type of environment I thrive in. 
 
She was made for me, and I was made for her.
 
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