Author - Aaron

The Top 5 Reasons to Get a Mentor

In today's world, having a mentor—a guide or teacher—is key in the hustle and grind of establishing a business or career.  Whether you're leveling up in your personal growth or chasing those career goals, having a mentor can elevate your game and help you navigate life like a pro. Listen up! Here's the lowdown on why hooking up with a mentor is crucial: They Help You Figure Things Out: Life is full of twists and turns, and sometimes it's hard to know which path to take. That's where a mentor comes in handy. They've been through similar situations and can share their experiences to guide you through tough times. Whether you're facing a difficult decision or struggling with a personal challenge, having a mentor to lean on can provide much-needed clarity and perspective. They Know Lots of People: Networking is key to success in any field, and mentors are like walking Rolodexes of valuable contacts. By connecting you with professionals in your industry, mentors can open doors to new opportunities you might not have found otherwise. For landing a job interview or finding your next client … having someone in your corner with an extensive network can be a game-changer for your career. They Keep You on Track: It's easy to lose sight of your goals when life gets busy, but a mentor can help you stay focused and accountable. By setting regular check-ins and milestones, they provide the gentle nudge you need to keep moving forward. When meeting deadlines, sticking to a budget, or pursuing a passion project, having someone to hold you to your commitments can make all the difference in achieving your goals. They’re Knowledgeable: Mentors are valuable sources of knowledge and expertise. Looking for industry insights? Need to learn that one extra skill to propel your career? Want constructive feedback on your work? Mentors provide invaluable opportunities for learning and growth. By opening your mind and asking the right questions, you can tap into their wealth of experience to accelerate your development and become a better professional—and person—in the process. They're Role Models: Lastly, mentors serve as inspiring role models who show you what's possible with hard work, determination, and a little bit of luck. By embodying the qualities you admire and aspire to, they motivate you to reach for the stars and chase your dreams. Plus, having someone in your corner who believes in you can be a powerful source of encouragement during tough times, helping you push through obstacles and emerge stronger on the other side. In summary, mentors play a crucial role in our personal and professional development, offering guidance, support, and inspiration when we need it most. Whether it's navigating challenges, forging new connections, staying on track with our goals, or simply learning from their example, having a mentor by our side can make all the difference in achieving success and fulfillment in life.

How Do I Measure Success as a Young Creative?

So, you're hustling to make your business dreams a reality, but how do you know if you're really killing it? Success is more than just money in the bank, especially for someone like you starting out. First off, think about your customers. If they're happy and keep coming back, that's a win. Ask them what they like, listen to feedback, and see if they're spreading the word about your awesome products or services. Your customers are part of your circle of influence. Invite them to follow you on social media and engage them there as well. While social media following is important, it’s not the end-all, be-all. So be sure to engage IRL too.  Then, there's your team. If you've got a crew that enjoys working with you and sticks around, that's a sign of success too. Teamwork makes the dream work! Creating a cool workplace where everyone feels valued is a big win. Some people to follow on Instagram include: @jayshetty (Jay Shetty), @lewishowes (Lewis Howes), @myleik (Myleik Teele) and @devibrown (Devi Brown) And don't forget about personal growth. Learning from mistakes, figuring out new stuff, and setting and reaching your goals – that's success on a personal level. Every step forward is a victory. Success isn’t a lack of challenges…it’s how you work through them, with grace, persistence, creativity and even gratitude. We’ve covered this topic in more depth in my previous blog “How to Be Consistent When Life is Unpredictable. And yes, success can mean money in the bank. It’s great to have financial goals: owning your own house, taking care of your family, even treating your friends to a good meal, going on a vacation or buying great threads…those are all great things to shoot for.  But it’s important to understand money vs. value. It’s natural for you to think about the short term, but see if you can extend your vision to five years, ten years out, and look at that layer of success. Oftentimes, it’s better to own Nike stock, rather than three pairs of Nike kicks. Learn to save and invest. If you’re in debt, work to reduce and eliminate it. (Check out “Financial Independence - Retire Early” (FIRE) strategies for ways to reduce your expenses and make the most of the money coming in). In order to make $90,000 a year, that breaks down to earning about $300 a day. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! Challenge yourself to increase your inflows. Beef up your marketing skills. Take on a side gig. Increasing your income is not an all-or-none proposition. And diversifying your financial picture is actually a best practice: it’s never good to have all your eggs in one basket, as they say. Some people like to create spreadsheets or hand-drawn charts to track their progress. (Read this classic book, Your Money or Your Life.) As you hustle through your entrepreneurial journey, remember it's not just about the money. It's about happy customers, a great team, and becoming the best version of yourself. That's how you know you're really rocking it!

Financial Wisdom for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

If you’re a young adult creating a new business, most likely you are operating on a shoestring budget. Mastering the art of financial management is key to ensuring your business thrives in the long run. Budget Like a Bad A$$  First up, make a budget. Figure out what your business needs, cover your personal essentials, and stash a bit for emergencies. Tackle debts smartly so you have more room to grow your business. Try to steer clear of credit card debt and payday loans– that way lies the path of stress and heartache. Live within your means, and if you can’t, then get a second job, find a roommate to share expenses, or reduce your spending. Invest in Yourself & Your Biz Now  Let's talk about investing. Get creative with funding avenues; explore crowdfunding or seek out angel investors who believe in your vision. Forge connections with mentors who can drop some financial wisdom. Continuously educate yourself on tax strategies, financial tactics, and business planning–google those terms– and find credible sources, such as the Small Business Development Centers or Women’s Business Centers or other credible nonprofit and government-aligned agencies. Plan for Your Golden Years  Lastly, don't underestimate the importance of retirement planning. Having a fat and growing nest egg is not just for the distant future; it can also bolster your business's financial stability. The best time to start saving is when you have your first job – early 20s. The next best time is today! Set up a Roth IRA and stash something away for your golden years. It feels like a hassle now, but honestly, the earlier you start saving, the more your nest egg will grow using the magical power of compound interest– google that term. Even $100 a month now could add up to $200,000 when you’re 50, and it will turn into $535,000 when you’re 60. Not too shabby. Opt for affordable choices like low-cost index funds that don’t have hefty fees. Vanguard is tried and true. In a nutshell, as young entrepreneurs, it's about smart budgeting, finding clever ways to fund your business, and staying on top of the money game. Start small, focus on the essentials, and set yourself up for success in both your personal and business finances.

What’s the difference between personal growth and self-criticism?

Let's chat about that journey of becoming a better version of yourself. It's a rad adventure, but we gotta clear up the difference between personal growth and self-criticism because, trust me, they're like night and day. So, personal growth is like your cool buddy who's always cheering you on. It's about leveling up your skills, gaining wisdom, and generally bossing up. Whether picking up a new hobby, getting your emotional intelligence game strong, or building killer relationships, it's all in the name of becoming the ultimate you. On the other hand, self-criticism is that annoying roommate who never has anything nice to say. It's like looking in the mirror and only seeing what's wrong instead of what's awesome. Too much of this can seriously mess with your vibe, killing your confidence and making it harder to grow. This is key: Remember that mistakes are just detours, not dead ends. No one got anywhere with perfectionism. Strive for excellence, sure. Aim for improvement, yes! But never make a mistake? Let that sh75$t go! If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning. Go out of your way and try new things. Let yourself fail and see that you can pick yourself back up.  The secret sauce here is knowing what's happening in your head. Constructive self-reflection is cool – it's like checking the GPS on your growth journey. But constant self-criticism is like getting stuck in traffic without snacks–making the journey miserable. So, to make personal growth your ride-or-die, keep it real with yourself. Set doable goals, expect to fail every now and then, and high-five yourself for the small wins. Also, don't hesitate to call your crew for advice and support. Everyone needs a hype squad. Ultimately, it's about turning personal growth into a chill, ongoing thing. Embrace the journey, learn from the bumps, and give yourself credit where it's due. You got this!

Building Your Dream Team: A Guide for Young Entrepreneurs

Surrounding yourself with a stellar team can make all the difference in turning your dreams into reality. Here's how to cultivate an A-list squad to propel your career forward. Firstly, network like your future depends on it – because it does. Attend industry events, join online communities, and connect with like-minded individuals. Seek mentors who have been down the road you're traveling and can offer valuable guidance.  Some people think of building a “board of directors” for themselves…these can be a combination of close friends whom they trust, seasoned professionals who act as mentors, and even celebrities they don’t know personally, but who model the kind of values and aspirations they desire. In your pursuit of greatness, focus on assembling a diverse team. Different backgrounds and skill sets bring various perspectives, fostering creativity and innovation. Don't just look for people who agree with you; seek those who challenge your ideas and push you to think differently. Oftentimes, entrepreneurial endeavors require many skills, including ones outside your set. Rather than learning everything, look for someone who compliments your talents. If you’re a designer wanting to set up a marketing company, look for a killer writer. If you’re a keyboardist, look for a vocalist. Maybe you’re amazing at product development, but need a sales person to tell your story and bring in business. Pairing up with a partner can be formalized by creating a business together, or you can bring them on for specific projects on a contract basis.  Use social media platforms to your advantage. Engage with professionals in your industry, share your journey, and participate in discussions. You'll be surprised how many potential collaborators or mentors you can find in the digital space. Just remember that, while valuable, the digital space isn’t the be-all, end-all. Real life connections are important too. Never underestimate the power of internships or apprenticeships. No matter how old you are, you can benefit from this kind of arrangement with a more seasoned professional in an area you want to learn more about, especially if you don’t have the money for formal training. And, consider giving a younger person a step up through an internship you design. Bringing in young talent allows you to mold individuals who align with your vision while infusing fresh perspectives into your team. Building an A-list team isn't just about finding skilled individuals but finding those who share your passion and dedication. Your team should be more than just colleagues; they should be your partners in turning your dreams into a tangible, thriving reality.

How to Be Consistent When Life is Unpredictable

Embarking on the entrepreneurial roller coaster demands more than just a brilliant idea; you need a commitment to consistency. In a world where uncertainties are as common as coffee breaks, being unwaveringly consistent can be your most potent weapon.  Picture it as the relentless drip of water shaping a rock over time—small, consistent efforts accumulate into substantial results. Whether you're refining your product, building your brand, or expanding your network, the key is to show up, day in and day out. It's the daily grind, the dedication to improvement, and the ability to learn from both successes and failures that lay the foundation for lasting triumph. One of the biggest perks of working for yourself is not having to put in a typical 9-5, but there’s also danger in lacking structure and accountability in your life. Create systems and processes to give your work rhythm. Find accountability partners who will ask you about your goals and hold you to them. Build structure and reminders: Make sales calls on Tuesdays, pay your invoices on Thursdays, co-work with your work fam every Friday afternoon… that sort of thing.  Consistency isn't just about doing the same thing repeatedly; it's about learning, adapting, and persisting in the face of adversity. As an entrepreneur, you will often face challenges, setbacks, and moments that test your mettle. Oftentimes, when we make a mistake, we retreat into a place of shame and fear. That’s not productive. Create mantras around self-acceptance and permission to make mistakes: “If I’m not making mistakes, I’m not learning.” “Shame won’t get me to my goals.” “I have a lot of proven skills that go with me everywhere.” Don’t let your stumbles make you fall into a pit of despair. Communicate with the people you disappoint, fix the problem, and recommit yourself to your mission. Confidence is something we all struggle with. Being confident in your own skin– even if that looks a little different than what all your other friends are doing – is a real challenge. It’s easy to be a follower. It’s much more difficult to create your own lane. The answer, truly, is to “Fake it til you make it.” It's about making a habit of excellence and reliability in your endeavors. Guard and protect your confidence. Nurture it. Surround yourself with positivity and people who believe in you. Build an interior monologue that supports your mission and goals. If you believe in yourself, and if you believe you deserve success, you will have a better shot at fulfilling your dreams. We call this “manifesting.” This consistent effort, when applied strategically, forms a trajectory toward success. If someone or something else is getting in your way, kick your problem-solving skills into high gear: ask around in your network for advice. Google the question and see what pops up. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it’s one of the best ways of getting around the inevitable obstacles in your path.  If the problem is extra challenging… maybe the universe is closing doors and you haven’t found the key…that’s when you reach out for help from family, friends, mentors, and trustworthy others in your community. We here at YourPassion1st can help plug you into community resources with extra support for mental health services, violence prevention, hunger, and more. There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it. We’ve all been there.  Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. Those who navigate the winding path with determination and consistency over the long haul are the ones who get the prize. So, fellow entrepreneurs, embrace the power of consistency—it's the factor that transforms lofty aspirations into tangible achievements. The journey might be challenging, but the payoff is worth the hustle. Keep pushing forward!

Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid as a Young Arts & Music Professional

Embarking on a music or performing arts career is an exhilarating journey, filled with the promise of creativity and self-expression. And if you hit it big – potentially huge financial rewards. On the other hand, there are some serious traps you gotta dodge if you want to make it in this competitive scene.  Here are the top three mistakes to steer clear of:

1. Sleeping on the Business Side:

Look, I get it: when those creative juices get flowing, it's easy to get lost in the moment…or hour…or days!  But you can’t forget about the business hustle. There’s marketing, branding, and financial planning. Understanding contracts, managing royalties, building a personal brand… the list goes on. Those tasks are just as crucial as perfecting your craft. Investing time in learning about the business side early on will empower you to make smart moves and boss up your career.

2. Missing out on Networking

It’s not just about talent, fam! Networking will help you crack into the music and performing arts scene. Hit up industry events, connect with other artists, and seek out mentorship opportunities. Building relationships with peers, mentors, and industry professionals can open doors you never knew existed. . It’s how you score collaborations, gigs, and other career-boosting opportunities.

3. Ignoring Mental and Physical Well-being:

This game can mess with your head and body, for real. . Many young arts professionals make the mistake of prioritizing their art over their health. But your powerful brain, your beautiful voice, the life force of your creativity….they are all housed in the temple of your body. You gotta find that balance … regular workouts, good eats, and mental health TLC are non-negotiable. Ignoring self-care can lead to burnout, impacting your performance and long-term career prospects. Prioritize your well-being, so you can keep killing it in the arts scene. In conclusion, you may be just starting out but don’t fall into those rookie traps above.   Embrace the business grind, hustle those connections, and take care of your mind and body. By navigating these challenges thoughtfully, you'll be rocking the dynamic and rewarding music and performing arts scene.

How to Create A Lane in Your Area of Passion: 3 Essential Skills

Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is an exciting but challenging adventure. Yes, passion is absolutely key. You won’t get far without it. But to create your own singular path, you need to pack certain skills. Let’s dive into three essential ones every successful leader should have when making an impact in and for their community. 


Building your social game is a huge deal, right from the start.  I use the word “fam” a lot for the people close in my network. Vibing with good people is not only rewarding career-wise, it’s also rewarding soul-wise. From people you meet at school, to contacts you make through your auntie’s friends, or the connections you build through social media, they are all building blocks for a rich and productive network. When you collab on projects with others, don’t be shy about highlighting your achievements (just beware of the fine line between flexing and showing off). 


Resilience is a must for entrepreneurs. The journey is full of ups and downs, setbacks, and challenges. Get used to hearing that dreaded word “no”… and have backup plans from A to Z. Being resilient means you can bounce back from failures and use them to fuel your future success. It’s the basis for discipline: It helps you maintain focus and stay motivated when things get tough. Give yourself time to cultivate resilience. Lean on mentors and peers, practice self-care, and learn from mistakes to grow stronger. 

Integrity in Decision-Making:

Effective decision-making is a cornerstone skill for entrepreneurs. You're responsible for a gazillion choices, from hiring your dream team to setting killer goals. Making well-informed and timely decisions can make or break your success. Gather relevant information. Trust your intuition. Seek advice when necessary. Most important: guard your integrity. Do what you say you’re going to do. Show up when you’ve made a commitment. Integrity is the foundation of all great buildings, great organizations and great relationships– it’s structural. Make sure your decisions are well-thought-out, so emotions don’t lead you astray.  Entrepreneurship is a wild ride, but it’s hella rewarding. Networking, resilience, and effective decision-making are crucial for success. Develop these skills over time as you build your business. By honing these abilities, you'll be better equipped to navigate the ever-changing landscape and achieve your goals in your area of passion. 

Let’s Hear You!

Do you have a burning question or something on your mind about starting a business? Are you looking for opportunities to have a dialogue around entrepreneurship? Want to engage around these ideas more deeply? Drop us a line on (email address) The pitch– being you, putting yourself out there. Bringing your creative genius to life.  Sound bites from the past 2-3 workshops– 


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