Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

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Author: patrick-hobbyjam (page 2 of 5)

Jimmy Stice – Kalu Yala CEO

Kalu Yala is a sustainable city currently being built in Panama. It is one of the latest offsprings of dedication to nature and limitless creativity. Placed in the middle of a jungle, the community is only half an hour away from the airport and seconds away from beautiful designs, fresh business ideas, and a welcoming neighborhood of people from all over the world. The underlying truth about Kalu Yala is further reflected in the roots of the movement which echo with excited cheers of adventurous people who visit. Those are usually the individuals that are not afraid to replace a prestige university environment with a green surrounding of nature.

 

What is your hobby?

Our hobby is building a community and connecting remarkable people. Since we welcome guests from all over the world, one of the first tasks is getting past any language or cultural barriers. This is easily achieved through nights with live music, long walks, bonding around the fire, team-building exercises, and more. Hence why there has never been Kalu Yala criticism aimed to discredit our ability to turn strangers into life-long friends.

 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Kalu Yala was originally an idea to merge complex business concepts like economics and sustainability with beautiful nature found in Panama City. We were inspired by the need to push the limits of what others have done in these fields. At first, we had a small team of no more than a handful of individuals who shared the passion for the end goal.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

All of the people who decide to take up this challenge are usually in love with adventures. We are no different as we crave excitement and feed off the surprising, sometimes shocking, discoveries found in the jungle that is now our home. Also, all of us are fierce proponents of things like socialization, intercultural relationships, as well as diversity. Some individuals list the fact that they learn so much about other cultures as the primary benefit from this experience.

 

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Given the closed-community idea we have, all of the participants are members of the large group. This helps get to know nearly everyone. Also, given that the goal of this project is designing and building something extraordinary, most of the events are organized to either brainstorm the blueprints or discuss the most efficient methods of construction.

 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Yes and no. Of course, we obtained some basic tools like electric drills prior to starting the project. Nevertheless, there is no state-of-the-art technology because everything is made from scratch using basic materials like wood. Some other items people tend to invest in prior to coming here are instruments while we do provide microphones and speakers that are needed for the mini-concerts.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

We do not! Since the entire idea revolves around sustainability, we find a lot of our supplies in the nature that surrounds us. Although it sounds like a challenging notion, people do not view this as one of the Kalu Yala problems. It is because the landscape is the number one building block of the community. After all, finding ways to get around the obstacles of simple life is the primary reason why a lot of our members joined in the first place!

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

We generally advise those who commit to our project to learn the basics of nature survival. There are plenty of books that teach them how to make that transition from modern life to old-fashioned and simple methods. Some of them are “Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide on the Art of Wilderness Survival” by Dave Canterbury and “Camping and Survival: The Ultimate Outdoors Book” by Paul Tawrell. The majority of the techniques that participants learn, however, come from real-life experience once they get here.

 

How has this changed your life?

In more ways that we can describe. Being a part of something that is above anyone’s individual needs has taught us about selflessness and dedication. People who are successful here often speak of life-changing friendships that they formed, new knowledge that they now possess, as well as the new-found view of the world and its beauties.

 

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Try to overcome the beginning hardships because these stages are the most difficult ones. People are bound to be skeptical of any similar endeavor because it pushes the limits of what might be viewed as achievable. Thus, it is important to align oneself with those of similar mind and work together to come up with a failproof plan of growth.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Anything that requires one to be creative. Some people here are great musicians, some can draw anything and everything, and others can build marvelous pieces of furniture with nothing but a small hammer and a pocket knife. The spectrum of hobbies that our members are known for is so wide that it is almost impossible to depict every single activity you are likely to see when you walk around the camp.

Terry Bandy

Terry Bandy is a Senior Data Scientist based in San Francisco, California. Bandy works with companies in the US and abroad to apply big data to concrete problems. He is passionate about working with his clients to grow their audience and profits. Bandy brings years of tech experience to his freelance endeavors, including the startup and management of a website analytics company in the early years of data science.

Bandy grew up with a passion for numbers and logic. Throughout high school and then undergraduate studies at Tufts University, Bandy pursued this passion with enthusiasm, which garnered the attention of his teachers and professors. Bandy was identified as gifted as a young age, and throughout college he received mentoring from professors who encouraged him to continue studying computer sciences.

As a college junior, Terry Bandy and two other students founded a tech-based company that specialized in website design and analytics. The group sold the company, which had become quite successful, five years later. Bandy moved to California to help manage the company. While helping with the companies transition over to new owners, Bandy entered an MBA program. He earned his master’s degree and then began taking on data science work on a contractual basis. Today Terry Bandy lives in San Francisco with his wife Melissa and two sons.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is fly fishing. I go every chance that I get.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I got started with this hobby when I was a young kid, probably five or six, and my dad took me out to the rivers with him. Back then I couldn’t fly fish, but he would and I would play around on the shore. When I got older and could manage the fishing rod on my own he taught me how to cast and present the fly.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love the serenity of being in nature, in a river or on the shores of a lake. I love walking down a river and exploring all of the hidden spots, where no one else goes. It is very relaxing. I also enjoy the fact that it is an activity that I can do with my sons. They love it as much as I do.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

One of the things I love about fly fishing is that you can do it on your own. I’m not part of any fishing groups, and that’s the way I like it! I don’t go to events either. Usually when my sons and I go out fishing it happens very spur of the moment. Once a year we travel to Colorado for a more extensive fishing and camping trip.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I recently bought a new pair of waders because our Colorado trip is coming up, and I know that the water is going to be cold. I chose Orvis brand Silver Sonic waders because I like the way they’ve designed water proof seams. It feels good to be out in the sunshine in freezing cold water and feel totally comfortable — not wet and cold. You can fish longer that way.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I usually go to Lost Coast Outfitters here in San Francisco. I also like a few shops in Colorado, where we take our annual fly fishing trip. The Colorado Angler in Silverthorne, Colorado is great. Sometimes, if I can’t find the exact thing that I want, I will shop online. I prefer to spend my money locally though.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Since I learned how to fish hands-on, from my father, I really didn’t look into beginner fly fishing books. I think that with fishing, you need to actually go out into the water with someone who knows what they are doing. One helpful resource that I’ve used over the years which I recommend to beginners is a guide to the waters in your area. Personally, I use Greg Vinci’s Flyfisher’s Guide To California, but I suppose the one that the beginner chooses will depend on his or her geographic location.

How has this changed your life?

It has brought me a lot of peace and joy. Those two commodities are more valuable than money in the bank.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Be patient with yourself. Have fun exploring the rivers. Approach it like a kid would — just play around and have a good time. If you approach it that way, you’ll never have a bad day of fishing, even if you don’t catch anything and your casting is awful.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love to read, hike, and travel.

Noelle Neff

Noelle Neff is a photographer and entrepreneur. She currently works and lives in Florida, and her business, Noelle Neff Photography, is based in downtown Miami. Neff is a graduate of the University of Miami.

Noelle’s business began out of a love for her art form. She has been taking photographs for over ten years, due to her love for capturing visual images. It was only two years ago that Noelle Neff Photography became an official business, but Noelle was building the business for years before it officially came into being.

Her client base originally came from word-of-of mouth relationships, but quickly grew to include the greater Miami area. As Noelle branched into digital marketing, her customer base continued to grown and expand. She focuses on wedding photography, but also works at speaking events and athletic events.

Her award-winning photography also includes portraits and photos of fine art. She is known for pushing the boundaries of the genre she decides to photograph, and her work has a distinct style. Neff credits this originality to the creative process that she has developed over the years.

In addition to honing her creative skill set, running her business, and taking photographs every day, Noelle also enjoys spending time at the beach, eating Japanese food, reading, supporting fellow entrepreneurs, and singing.

Neff has won several awards in the past years, since starting her business. Of these, she is most proud of the photography accolades she has received from her Alma mater, University of Miami.

What is your hobby?

Singing. I sing with an informal choral group, as well as on my own as a daily practice.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I got started with this hobby when I was in my early twenties. A friend of mine asked me to go to a “yoga class” with her, at a local Miami studio. I thought we were going to be stretching, and getting a work-out in! I was very surprised when we got to the class and it was all about sound. Mostly we listened to sounds, and then repeated them back. We were asked to see where the sounds vibrated within the body. This had a major impact on me because I could feel for myself what the sounds were doing within me — in my actual cells. This inspired me to start singing, mostly for the effect it had on my personal well-being.

Tell us what you love about it?

I love using my voice in an authentic way. One of the biggest challenges, I feel, for creative types is that we tend to get caught up in our own worlds. I’ll just speak for myself and say that when I am really in the zone at a photography shoot, I am completely living an inner experience. Voice is unique because it comes from inside the body but projects out into the world. I find that when I sing, I break the barrier between my inner world and my outer world.

Are there any groups that you’re apart of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I am a part of an informal group of women who get together to sing. We try to meet once a week, but sometimes it turns into once every two weeks. My good friend, who introduced me to yogic chanting in my early twenties, facilitates the group.

Have you had to invest in any equipment, and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought?

This is interesting, because with singing, your body is the instrument. Yes, I have had to invest in my body! I keep my posture aligned, my cells hydrated and healthy, and my system fueled on high quality foods. One thing that I invested in recently was nutritional enzymes by Rainbow Light. I also buy music which inspires me, that I can sing along to.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I often shop at Whole Foods Market because I like knowing that they screen for toxic ingredients. I want my body to be happy! I shop for my music online, through my Apple account.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Yes, I recommend “Soul Vows”, by Janet Conner. Singing is about using your voice in an authentic way. There are some technical aspects of it, but mostly your voice comes from your heart. You have to feel at home in your body, and this book can help you do this.

How has this changed your life?

When I sing, I put myself into a creator state. There are different ways of being in the world: creator or victim. When you project your inner experience onto the outer world, you become a creator.

What advice do you have for others starting out with your hobby?

My advice is that you don’t let embarrassment or shame stop you. Some people are naturally gifted singers, but let me tell you, that wasn’t me. But it doesn’t matter what your natural ability is. Keep searching for those true tones. Let the notes waiver or be off a bit, but feel into it, and work to correct it. You can do this on your own for a while, but eventually try to sing with others. Moving into a public arena gives your practice new depth.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Of course! I am curious about all sorts of things, so I find that I get into all kinds of hobbies. One of them that I’ve been diving into pretty deeply lately is cooking! I find combining different flavors to be an art of its own.

Grace Lever

Grace Lever is proud of each and every one of the personal and professional titles she carries, and the author, wife, entrepreneur, daughter, speaker, sister, mentor, and friend is indeed known for possessing a dynamic skill set that has enabled her to accomplish so much in such a brief period of time. A native of Australia who attended college in Sydney but now resides in Adelaide Hills, Grace Lever reviews how female entrepreneurs can apply the principles of doing to ensure their new business ultimately goes on to achieve its full potential for success.

 

What is your hobby?

Lately I’ve become increasingly interested in exploring my physical limits through long distance running.

 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Traveling is a big part of my life, but traveling on a regular basis isn’t always conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Since all you need to go for a run is a pair of trainers on your feet, running was the best way for me to stay fit despite my busy travel schedule.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

I wasn’t always fond of running, and it was definitely a struggle at first. I love that running always gives you a challenge that must be overcome, and I love that the progress you make is directly tied to the effort you put into it.

 

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

There’s a small group of local runners that meet up on Saturday mornings for a long run, so I run with them whenever I’m in town. I also like to compete in road or trail races, and I recently completed a 12k run.

 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

So far my running shoes are the only investment I’ve made, but my husband did give me a GPS watch as a gift just a short time ago.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

One of the runners from the Saturday morning group owns a sporting goods store where we all go when we need to replace our shoes or upgrade our running gear in some way.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

I’ve always advocated for learning by doing, and I think most beginners would learn more about running by going on a group run with a few experienced runners.

 

How has this changed your life?

It’s made me feel a lot better about eating several slices of pizza along with a delightful glass of wine, but more importantly, it has allowed me to explore my surroundings in a way that helps me stay fit and healthy during any extended period of travel.

 

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Have fun and focus on building a base with short, easy runs along with plenty of recovery. Running requires a long-term approach, and trying to take a shortcut almost always leads to injuries.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

None that I’m all that serious about, but I have thought about taking up winemaking. I also consider myself an amateur dog trainer, and I’m quite proud of the progress my puppy Delilah has made since she joined our family.

D. Scott Carruthers

D. Scott Carruthers is an artist whose primary medium is photography. He grew up in Anaheim, California, with a natural ability for the visual arts. This aptitude took off in his teenage years, as he began photographing musicians. Rather than attending college, Carruthers chose to travel all over California, taking photographs of musicians and models. His reputation grew steadily, which led to more gigs and more opportunities to persu his passion. He started photographing events in addition to the work he was doing within the entertainment industry. At the age of twenty, Carruthers opened his first photography studio. Because he already had a wide client base, the studio was successful immediately. This gave Carruthers the chance to dive into more aspects of photography that he wanted to explore, including advertising. When he signed on with an agent at the age of twenty one, he was given the opportunity to work on national ad campaigns. He also began photographing top movie stars and athletes. He continues to work in his Anaheim studio, and loves the thrill of being creative every day. His style has progressed over the years to include more abstract elements, as well as edgier subject matter. He is known to push the limits of the art form.

What is your hobby?

Cycling; I do both road cycling and mountain biking.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I got started with this hobby when I first opened my photography studio. I wasn’t used to spending long hours inside, with people. I found that I really needed to get outside on a regular basis, and clear my mind. I always had bikes growing up, but never took it that seriously. Suddenly, though, I was getting more into it and using my time on the bike to stay sane and happy. It was a big shift! That made me really passionate about the sport.

Tell us what you love about your hobby.

I love the solitude that cycling can provide. Usually, I ride on my own so that I can be alone with my thoughts. The physical aspect of it is a plus for me, because mostly I’m using it as a meditative way to be alone out in the fresh air.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

No, I don’t usually cycle with a group or attend events. Once in a while I will join up with a group of guys from my neighborhood, and we’ll all go for a long road ride. But for the most part I am a solo rider.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought

I love my Specialized mountain bike for riding in the woods and on trails. I bought it years ago. I also bought a new road bike recently, as well as an app for my phone that records the distance I travel and tracks my elevation gain.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I try to buy locally, here in Anaheim. If I can’t find exactly what I need, I’ll start to look online.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Yes. I recommend “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami. He is one of my favorite writers, and even though this book is about his experience with learning to run and how that affected his writing, I find that it relates to my experience with cycling and producing photographs. Creative people can get a lot out of steady, meditative physical exercise. Murakami puts it into words so precisely.

How has this changed your life?

My artwork has benefited. While I ride, I have time to process thoughts and emotions, and clear my head. You can only make great art when you have a clear mind. If it wasn’t for cycling, I might have picked up something more destructive as an outlet for my energy and emotions. When I first started cycling, I recognized that I felt more relaxed and calm. Long hours in the studio don’t bother me when I know I’ll get a ride in at the end of the day.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

When you first start cycling, you might feel discouraged because you are not as fit as you want to be. Go for rides that are enjoyable, not rides that push you to the point of spitting blood. If you love and enjoy the activity, you’ll stick with it over the years, and that is what counts. You want to love every moment on your bike. Improvement will come; don’t force it.

Are there any other hobbies that you have?

Besides cycling and photography, I also read constantly. It’s an obsession.

Charles Lubbat

Charles Lubbat is a swimming pool design consultant that specializes in unique creations. With his career has also come an opportunity to traverse the world and see different destinations, and this has been as a part of his effort to document as many sightseeing places as possible.

He travels as much as possible, so he can gain knowledge about unique pool designs that are trending in other countries. This allows him to provide his clients with jaw-dropping designs that they cannot wait to see come to life.

In addition to working as a swimming pool design consultant in Atlanta, Georgia, Charles Lubbat also writes about traveling as a part-time hobby. His articles are insightful for the average traveller who is thinking about visiting a destination. He has done this with great mastery and accuracy that he has earned himself respect among his peers, and the world of tourism at large. Charles is a charming and passionate explorer whose desire to see the world has also come as an eye opener for others who want to understand the world better.

What is your hobby?

Well, part of my life has been more about interacting with humans and getting to learn more from nature, so in this process, I created a deep connection with traveling to see new destinations. I find exploration interesting and when am not traveling I’m writing about my excursions so other travelers can feel like they had the experience with me. 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

What basically triggered me to get into traveling is the desire to see the world beyond where I live. I believe there are many treasures that I am yet to come across and staying at the same place doesn’t give me the chance to explore the world well. It is an interesting pursuit that has helped me to understand different cultures and communities. Plus, when I get to see the pools that other places offer, it gives me fresh insight to keep my skills sharp for my swimming pool design consultancy business. 

Tell us what you love about it

One thing I honestly love about traveling is the fact you are ushered into a new reality and this gives you an opportunity to appreciate the beauty that makes up our world. From the people to the landscapes, it comes as a great opportunity to uncoil and see the world in a different lens than you are used.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Indeed, I have come across various travel clubs that share similar ideas as me, and the theme dominant is ensuring we get to embrace nature with a positive mind. For example, one of such groups has been championing travel and exploration while spreading awareness on the need to preserve the environment. Plus, I’m also thinking of starting a travel group exclusively for swimming pool design consultants, so we can compare notes, and shed some more light on this not often covered industry. 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought

Yes, I have equipment that I use whenever I visit a new place, and these include my cameras and tabs that I use to document the facts I come across while traveling. This data is what is relayed to the audience through my articles while reviewing travel destinations.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

With the online space expanding and offering many places to shop, I search the internet to see what items I need. Once I find the ones that I need, I just place my order and the same is delivered to me. One of my favorite places to shop is Amazon, they just have a great assortment of items available. 

Are there any good books for beginners?

For beginners who want to pursue travel journalism, I would recommend reading Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, which highlights all the things you need to understand when you enter into travel journalism.

How has this changed your life?

This has changed my life a lot. I must acknowledge that it came as a great way through which I can channel my feelings and ideas. While traveling, you are given a chance to learn that what you know is not the absolute truth and that there are many others who practice cultures that are different from what you know.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Don’t be discouraged by the challenges you come across while at it. This is a hobby that involves a lot of exploration and you are not likely to get all you expect, so it’s advisable to join with a prepared mind to face any challenges.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

As pointed earlier, I love swimming, particularly on the beach. And I also find reading interesting and quenching to my mind.

Rusty Tweed

Rusty Tweed is the founder and president of Tweed Financial Services, where he has spent the past 25 years providing clients with comprehensive, highly individualized financial advisory and wealth management services. In addition to his lengthy financial services career at the helm of Tweed Financial Services, Rusty is also the owner of Mold Zero and serves as the president and CEO of TFS Properties, Inc. The longtime resident of the Greater Los Angeles Area originally hails from Ontario, Canada, where he earned his degree from the University of Waterloo before relocating to Southern California. In his spare time, Rusty enjoys the beautiful SoCal climate while hiking and biking throughout the city of Los Angeles and beyond.

 

What is your hobby?

I’ve recently become more interested in cycling as well as hiking, particularly since both hobbies allow me to really savor the perfect year-round climate here in Southern California.

 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I started cycling and hiking more often because I wanted to find more excuses to spend time outside while also staying active. One of my clients is an avid cyclist who spoke so highly of both cycling and hiking that I felt inspired to try both pursuits for myself.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

Cycling is not only a great low-impact activity, but also is a solid option for simply getting around in Los Angeles. As for hiking, it is just such a wonderful way to connect with the natural beauty that surrounds us, and it’s nice to have so many local trails available to explore.

 

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Yes, quite a few actually. There’s a big group ride every weekend, and there are a few early-morning riders I meet up with on weekdays every once in while.

 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I only had to buy a pair of boots for hiking, but cycling is a bit heavier on the equipment side. Over the years I’ve bought quite a few parts to upgrade my bike as well as clip-in shoes, riding gloves, and, of course, a helmet.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

There’s a local bike shop that organizes our regular weekend rides, and we all try to support the owners by getting all our supplies there.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

Inspiration is one of the best ways to spark interest in a beginner, so I’d recommend the following books: For hiking, “A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf,” by John Muir; for cycling, “Great Road Climbs of the Pyrenees,” by Graeme Fife.

 

How has this changed your life?

Even though both hiking and cycling are physically taxing activities, I feel far more energized in every pursuit than I ever did before I began cycling or hiking.

 

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Since cycling and hiking require developing an understanding of quite a few safety precautions, newcomers should try to find someone with experience who’s willing to show them the ropes before attempting to go it alone.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I enjoy writing about economics and often spend time reading books by the Pacific Ocean.

Krishen Iyer

Krishen Iyer is a Fresno, California-based entrepreneur and digital marketing expert with a wealth of experience and expertise in technical development and client relations. The prominent entrepreneur and marketing expert recently founded Managed Benefits Services, a new venture specializing in health and dental insurance marketing and leads.

Krishen’s new company features a highly sophisticated multi-layer marketing platform capable of analyzing user data in order to verify and rate the quality of each lead, all in real-time. Managed Benefits is sure to further benefit from Krishen’s technical development skillset as well as from the knowledge and experience accompanying his status as a certified insurance agent. A graduate of San Diego State University, Krishen is an avid reader who enjoys the work of Stephen King.

What is your hobby?

I love to read and have always been into literature, so I enjoy using any free time I have to get into a really good book.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Stephen King is my favorite author, and it was after reading one of his short story collections that I first felt inspired to read everything else he wrote.

Tell us what you love about it.

Reading is such an intimate experience, and I love the fact that fiction really heightens your sense of empathy by challenging you to see things from the perspective of all the different characters that play some role in the storytelling. That alone is valuable, but I also enjoy the imagery, the lyrical wordplay, the subtext, and everything else that makes literature so unique.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

There are a few of us in the Fresno area that have similar tastes in literature, so we created an informal book club where we get together once a month to discuss a new book we’ve all read.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Other than bookcases and the books themselves, no, I can’t say that I have. I do, however, intend to invest in an Eames lounge chair one of these days.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

There’s a local bookstore that sells new and used books, so I tend to buy books there. They’ve always been kind enough to order a specific title for me if they didn’t have it in stock, and I just think it’s important to support local businesses.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I’d probably recommend Different Seasons, a collection of novellas and short stories by Stephen King, as a starting point, but it’s probably better for beginners to just head to a local bookstore and ask for a bit of guidance based on their own personal interests.

How has this changed your life?

Reading has been so valuable to me for so many reasons, but I’d say that its role in expanding the boundaries of my imagination has had the greatest impact on my life.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

All it takes is finding an author whose work resonates with you for one reason or another; once you find that author, you’ll almost certainly develop a lifelong passion for literature and will immediately begin to reap a seemingly endless array of rewards.

 Are there any other hobbies you have?

I’m really passionate about outdoor activities and also enjoy supporting the community in any way I can, so I like to volunteer at cleanup projects and other events that allow me to give back to the local community.

Peter Jacoves – CEO of Nationwide Debt Reduction Services

Peter Jacoves is a prominent strategic entrepreneur whose accomplishments span several distinct areas of commerce, including everything from the financial sector to the marketing and restaurant industries. An insightful entrepreneur and accomplished business leader, Peter’s governance as the CEO of Nationwide Debt Reduction Services has been instrumental in the company’s rapid growth within an increasingly competitive industry, particularly as it relates to the front-to-back-end solution utilized by the company in service of consumers seeking assistance with debt-related issues. Over the course of his lengthy and accomplished career as a strategic entrepreneur and executive at Nationwide Debt Reduction Services, Peter developed a passion for the game of golf, although he readily admits he is unable to play as often as he’d like.

What is your hobby?

I enjoy mentoring our youth.

As a successful business owner and entrepreneur, I believe it is my duty to encourage our youth.  The majority of people I meet and coach have a real fear of failure.  I try to convert that into the fear of not even trying versus that sense of fear.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

During her senior year in high school, my niece was taking a business course.  She asked if she could interview me.  The excitement in her eyes as I told her my path to success was the inspiration for me to share my knowledge with kids.

My success was not a product of luck but rather willingness and determination to succeed. Offering debt relief services to our community has been and will continue to be a pleasure.

Tell us what you love about it.

I equate talking to young adults about business as watching college football players compared to pros.  The collegiate player is motivated and excited to win and compete to become the best.  I believe that fire wanes once the game becomes about the dollar.  The promise and excitement in the eyes of these students I mentor is what will make them successful.  It is the drive to succeed that created winners.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Yes.  I attend networking groups that invite entrepreneurs as guest speakers.  I have also been asked to speak in classes of students whose career path includes business and corporate management.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I do not use any props or tools but rather share my experience and knowledge.  I do pass out a copy of my business bio to establish credibility.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Again, I really do not need or use supplies.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Yes.  My favorite books are those written by Richard Branson.  The book I most frequently recommend is his book “Like a Virgin-Secrets They Won’t Teach You in Business School.” Mr. Branson is a self-made billionaire who has clear-cut and realistic guidelines to business.  I have always adhered to his number one rule: “If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it!

How has this changed your life?

Each time I am in front of wide-eyed eager business students, I get reminded of the fire I had when I was young.  Their excitement motivates me to get back to the basics of what has always worked for me.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Remember that the young have not yet been knocked down by rejection or disappointment.  It is my job to encourage them to try and try again despite the obstacles they will face.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I have a workshop where I work on a lot of different projects, including everything from simple woodworking projects to complex metallurgy; basically anything that stimulates my creative side in some way or another.

Jason Vander Griendt – Render 3D Quick

Jason Vander Griendt is the owner of J – CAD Inc., which offers 3D CAD design services, prototyping, and 3D printing. After experiencing much success for several years, he established a branch called Render 3D Quick. The services they provide include 3D architecture, animations, and virtual reality real estate walkthroughs. His work has established business relationships with clients spanning architects, designers, architects, homeowners, contractors, buildings, and real estate companies looking for real estate VR. His clients are based in all parts of the world such as the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and China. Jason Vander Griendt has become a prominent figure in the industry.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is traveling around the world. I do not have too many other hobbies. I am trying to teach myself how to play the guitar at the moment. It has been hard to find time to practice.

How did you get started?

I did not travel much aside from family vacations during my childhood. Those were always within the United States. It was not until I was working for a company in Boston, Massachusetts where I was offered the opportunity to work at their sister branch in Italy. This is going back 10 years ago. I traveled to Milan, and my perspective of the world immediately expanded.

Tell us what you love about it.

There is so much to love about traveling. I find it to be a very humbling experience for one. Prior to traveling outside the country, I would consider myself quite ethnocentric. It really is an eye opening experience to see cultures different from the one I am so accustomed to. There are certainly aspects I would never be able to acclimate to, but for the most part I find myself able to adjust.

Another part I greatly enjoy is meeting different people. Whether it is reuniting with old friends or making new ones, there is a piece of them that implants itself into me that makes me grow more as a person. Due to the nature of my job, a good chunk of my traveling is also due to work. I like to meet the people I have done business with online. It becomes a very personal interaction that online relationships just can not replicate.

There is one time of the year I try to always attend in Milan. Right around the beginning of December, there is an event called Oh bej! Oh bej!. It is basically a Christmas fair. There are a massive amount of Christmas decorations on display. Food stalls are left and right. A lot of Christmas shopping can be done there while keeping your stomach full. The event runs for a week, so there is plenty of chances to drop in for the fun.

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

Luggage and bags are definitely an investment. As I travel so frequently, I require spacious bags to fit all my needs. Durability is also an important factor. Going through various airports definitely takes a toll of the luggage. I remember one time, I had one luggage where the backing had a hard plastic sheet for support. I opened it up after returning home from a trip, and the plastic sheet was completely shattered due to being tossed around by handlers.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?

I buy most of the basic supplies locally from places like Walgreens. I have also done online shopping for other traveling supplies. Sites like TravelSmith and Amazon are good places to search through.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Admittedly, I have not read any books pertaining to traveling. I am sure there are many out there that may assist beginners.

How has your hobby changed your life?

Traveling has changed my life immensely. As I mentioned earlier, my view of the world was very limited when I was younger. I would hear global news and have trouble understanding why their problems existed when they could just follow how Americans conduct themselves. I find myself very open minded now. I love exploring differences from country to country.


What advice do you have for others just starting out?

I would advise others to make a list of places they want to visit. Most will keep it in their head, but once it is on a list, it becomes much more manageable and something to work through. It is also important to set a budget for each trip and consider to set aside an amount for unexpected emergencies.