I created NYC TECH CLUB as a fun project on the side one day in 2012 or 2013. Maybe it was 2014. All I know is, its been a few years. That side project has turned into something very special to me.
Over the last few years, I have been lucky enough to help hundreds of thousands of individuals launch businesses and brands that have allowed others to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit. I am thankful every day for everyone that has trusted me and the content that I make.
As time goes on, NYC TECH CLUB is still learning what it is. It grows as I grow and as you grow. We are now more focused than ever in building a brand that can help others grow. If you need anything, just ask.
I am thankful for every person that has ever watched a video of mine. I am super grateful for those that have stuck around and supported me and NYC TECH CLUB.
Stick around. We’re here to do something special. Let’s maximize our potential together.
I never thought I’d be a guy living behind a camera but it’s been one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.
I grew up in a small town in Northern California. After my city won an award for “All-American City” for lowering its murder rate. I realized I grew up in the ghetto.
I got lucky. I have good parents that disciplined my brother and I and kept us on track. We studied hard and both got exceptional educations. Even better, my brother and I have always been competing with one another so I’ve always tried to one up him, even though I consider him the successful one. It’s kept me driven and focused and wanting to do more.
By the time I was ready to graduate with an Economics and Computer Science degree from the University of California, Irvine, I realized I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and I had no job prospects. I felt helpless and so lost. It would take over a decade later to realize that it’s okay to not have your life planned out.
I had a few jobs on my resume so I wasn’t completely starting from zero. I worked at JC Penney’s as a sales associate in high school with my best friend. They told me to work in the suit department and I had to measure people for alterations. I don’t think I even owned a suit at the time, and never had any training on measuring people. In college, I worked at the Science Library, checking out books and trying to flirt with girls that came to the counter. I think my boss wishes she would have hired someone else after she had to start calling me to make sure I was awake and coming to work. In an effort to make more money, my roommate got me a job at a bank as a teller. It was my first taste of learning how to network with individuals and my first taste of finance.
As my college days were nearing its end, my aunt told me I should be an accountant and that she knew a partner at an accounting firm that could help. Not knowing much, I agreed. I sat at my desk waiting for my phone interview but the phone never rang. Three hours later, I emailed the HR lady saying I didn’t want the job any more because of her lack respect for my time. She replied back that she was “busy putting out fires.” As a young undergrad, I took that statement literally, and told everyone how stupid could she be to think that I’d really believe her?
I networked hard. I leveraged every person I knew. I applied for an investment banking internship, not knowing what it was. The day before my interview, I read up on investment banking and just recited everything I knew to the associate and he told his boss to hire me on the spot.
Over the next 8 to 10 months, I worked for free, learning investment banking and finance. And through my networking, I was able to get an offer at Goldman Sachs, the gold standard on Wall Street. My bags were packed and I was ready to move to New York.
My dream of being on Wall Street almost never came about. The investment banks all start their analyst programs in the summer. I had just failed an exam for a course that was supposed to be easy, “Natural Disasters.” It turns out, just because other people say a course is easy, it isn’t. You have to actually be interested in the subjected for things to be easy. It didn’t hurt that I got drunk the night before either…but it was college, it was someones birthday, and I don’t regret it. I had to talk to the professor and tell her about my job offer. I also explained to her that I had done some extra credit but she probably lost it. If she gave me the extra points, I would pass. I never did the extra credit but out of the goodness of her heart, she passed me.
After a few years of working in finance, I wanted more. I went back to Los Angeles and obtained my MBA from the University of Southern California. But the dream of getting your MBA and having companies compete for your skills was just that…a dream.
Getting my MBA may have been one of the bigger regrets in my life. An education is a beautiful thing that no one can ever take away from you, but it came at a cost. I had to move out of the greatest city in the world as the financial crisis was beginning. High finance jobs were hard to come by. I almost took an internship doing something completely different than what I wanted, all because I needed an internship. When I networked my way into a hedge fund, doing what I wanted to do, I reneged on my internship offer with Warner Brothers. This caused issues with the director of my career center and somehow turned into an issue with Warner Brother. Their HR team had alumni calling my school saying I had ruined the reputation of the school and I should be expelled. The Career Center Director, not looking out for a student’s best interest, recommended me for expulsion and turned most of the MBA class against me. I lost access to the career center and was on my own. But I was still on the path I wanted to be on, doing what I wanted to do.
After graduating with my MBA, I moved back East…with a stop in Kalamazoo, MI, working with some of the nicest people I have ever met. I hopped around a bit, working here and there, sometimes for free and finally landing at an electronic bond trading platform, where I would spend two years in misery until I realized, I had more to offer the world than just take orders from people older than me and watch them take credit for my work.
I was miserable and at one of the lowest points in my life working in corporate America. The people you work with can change everything. I secretly thank them for being so terrible. It was during this time that I knew I could do more. I started to explore different career options. I looked at tech start-ups. I watched YouTube videos. I brainstormed ideas. And I tried a few.
I created a website watching a YouTube video. I put an ad on the site. And on a cold wintry night in February of 2012, I made $0.26. The first time I had ever made money “on my own.” It was eye opening. I learned how to make money. And this has been a lesson I have taken with me ever since. Once you learn how to do something, you can do it over and over again.
I’ve failed a lot. I lost thousands of dollars on a interview prep marketplace. Not only that, but I learned you need to be careful who you choose to go into business with. The individual I started this start-up with, would end up costing me thousands of dollars and work behind my back to create a competing business with my business plan and take credit for it. Years in, he now has some funding and has gone through some high profile technology incubators. I’ve moved on but I will never forget this lesson. It takes passion to do something. Stealing ideas aren’t sustainable. Competition is a good thing.
In this process of figuring out what I wanted to do, being miserable in corporate America, and taking risks trying different things out, I learned about social media, YouTube and content creators. I never knew why people were posting so much online or how they were making money. But one day, I got curious and decided to do research. I ended up spending hours and hours learning and watching. And then something happened.
I decided I wanted to be a content creator. I decided that I could do what they did. And I could probably do it just as good, if not better.
And so, NYC TECH CLUB was born.
Am I where I want to be? Am I doing what I want to do? Am I going to be doing this forever? Is this what I want to be known for? These are questions I ask myself everyday.
My goals and aspirations change often. But right now, right here, this is where I want to be.
NYC TECH CLUB has given me the opportunity to create. I have been able to reach thousands of people and help them build something. I am able to wake up every day and choose what I want to work on. I am able to use my creativity and my personality to try to connect with others. I no longer let someone else decide how much I’m worth.
There’s a lot I want to accomplish. Building NYC TECH CLUB is one of them. Building a personal brand is another. Helping others has become something I am very interested in. I’m testing a lot of things out and seeing what works and what doesn’t. For now, I’m just going to enjoy the journey. Because when you enjoy the journey, you have a story to share.
I hope you have enjoy my story so far.
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© 2019 NYC TECH CLUB
© 2019 NYC TECH CLUB