What is the current role/passion/project you find yourself in and where can our readers find you?
I’m currently working on building my passion project, JokerMag.com — the home of inspiring underdog stories in sports. Along with a team of writers and podcasters (most of which are my friends from college), we are working part-time to build the brand. I’m based in Philadelphia, but we have contributors living everywhere from Washington D.C. to California. Readers can find our work on the website as well as my podcast, Hustle & Motivate.
How did you come to be where you are now?
In 7th grade, I sat huddled in a locker room with all my friends and classmates. It was the last day of baseball try-outs. When the coach slammed the door shut, a list of names was stuck to it. As I scanned the list two or three times, I couldn’t find my name. Quickly, reality set in. I didn’t make the team. I tried my best to hide the tears that ran down my face as I hurried to the front of the school to wait for my father to pick me up. It was one of the worst feelings of my childhood. Thinking back, I can still feel the pit in my stomach. On that day, I could’ve quit baseball forever. No one would’ve blamed me. But instead, I set out on a journey to prove everyone wrong — that coach, my classmates, and anyone else who didn’t think I was good enough. Nine years later, I sat in my college apartment with some friends. My phone started blowing up: “great job bro”, “well deserved”, “congrats dude”. I had just been named Honorable Mention All-Conference on my college baseball team. It was a culmination of all my hard work and dedication to proving people wrong. In reflecting on my journey, I realized it was the underdog mentality that helped me get there. So I decided to start a media brand dedicated to underdog stories.
What are your goals/hopes/plans for the future?
My goal is to work on Joker Mag full-time, and to be able to compensate our dedicated team for all their hard work and passion over the past year and a half. I want our work to reach people across the globe and have a positive impact on their lives. If we can help just a handful of people make the choice to go all-in on their dreams, all the hard work is worthwhile. Ultimately, I want Joker Mag to be the place I wish existed when I was that undersized kid who just got cut from the team — a source of hope and inspiration for young athletes and sports fans alike.
What do you do to take care of yourself?
I recently got started with mediation through the Headspace app. I’ve found it’s calmed my occasionally over-active mind. I highly recommend everyone give it a try, especially entrepreneurs who can’t stop thinking about their business 24/7. I’m also an avid lifter. After my college athletic career ended, I picked up the book “Practical Programming for Strength Training” by Mark Rippetoe. It’s safe to say that it’s transformed me mentally and physically. I’ve rediscovered that competitive spirit in me to keep getting better. To work for something. And to be disciplined and stay on the path. It’s also given me a nice baseline of strength (which comes in handy in my local semi-pro baseball league, lol).
In an alternate dimension, every job pays the same. With that in mind, what career would you pursue?
I’d do exactly what I’m doing today. Building Joker Mag and inspiring others is what I love to do.
If you have nothing on your schedule or an unexpected quiet moment, how do you choose to use your time?
I often crack open whatever book I’m reading or I turn on a podcast (The Jocko Podcast is one of my favorites). I love to learn something new every day that applies to everything I’m doing. Since graduating college, I’ve been on a path of constant self-development. Seeing small improvements compound over time gives me a lot of fulfillment and keeps me on track. The key for me has bee
n staying focused on the task at hand (like reading a book). One thing that’s really helped me has been eliminating distractions. It might sound crazy, but I deleted a lot of unnecessary apps from my phone and moved social media stuff to the last page (rather than the home screen). Oftentimes I’ll just leave my phone in the other room while I’m reading.
What does growth mean to you?
To me, growth means consistent improvement. Not necessarily fast results, but steady gains over time. I’m big into lifting weights so I like to look at it this way — everyone starts at zero. You’re not going to walk in on the first day and squat 315. But if you start small, stay patient, show up on a regular basis, and keep adding 5 pounds to the bar each work out, you’ll eventually get there.