Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

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Category: Interview (page 1 of 5)

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.

Lee Trotman

Lee Trotman is a digital marketing and ecommerce expert, and has clients such as Home Depot, Southern California Edison, Amazon, Costco and other Fortune 100 companies as well as smaller manufacturers.  Lee Trotman was raised in New York, Germany, Japan and Korea before coming to Los Angeles.  Lee Trotman learned many things from each of these environments, and along the way acquired a love of playing live music, sports, traveling and working on cars and motorcycles.

What is your hobby?

Traveling is my primary hobby.

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

I was eight years old and my family moved from New York City to Hanau, Germany.  My first ride on an airplane scared me, but within minutes became second nature.

Tell us what you love about it

I love traveling to new places and living like a local.  My travel is split into two categories: educational and leisure.  Educational travel involves learning about the local culture, history and people.  For example, when I travel to Europe, it’s always educational.  I love local customs, different environments, etc.  When I travel to tropical places, it’s always leisure, and I try to soak up living life like a local as much as I can.

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

Luggage, snowboards, electronics for whiling away  the hours on a plane, etc.  The most important equipment are noise-canceling earbuds to enable me to fall asleep.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I like shopping at the destination so I can have souvenirs that actually have a purpose.  Each purchase leads to a better traveling experience on another trip.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Plenty of great books, so I highly recommend a Frommer’s guide from AAA.  And any maps of your destination.

How has this changed your life?

Traveling has broadened my perspective on world events.  It’s one thing to read about a country and its personality, but another when you visit.  Some of my world views come from interacting directly with locals, and I take this interaction to heart.

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

Use the internet to its fullest potential.  In the old days, you had to rely on travel agents and extensive research, but today you can learn from TripAdvisor and Expedia most of what you will need to know about a travel destination.

Peter Jacoves – CEO of Nationwide Debt Direct

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 Direct 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, 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.

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

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 Quickly. 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.

Mike Munter

Mike Munter was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated high school in 1983 and attended University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) for a couple years before attending trade school.

Later, he got his first full-time job as a PC repair technician and in 1988 became a network technician.

After getting laid off in 1992, he chose a new career and worked for 12 years in minor league baseball for the Bowie Baysox.

He moved to Portland in 2004 and after leaving corporate America for good a few years later, he launched an internet marketing business in 2010. In his spare time, he loves to play chess, spend time with friends, hike, and go to the dog park.

Mike writes for his self-help blog when he has something he feels can help others.

What is your hobby?

Well, I have more than one, but gardening is probably the big one. I have a huge space with three 30′ raised beds and four 45′ raised beds.

I built most of it myself and enjoy all of the work that goes into it. I started gardening big time in 2009.

How did you get started?

I had a small bed next to my house and in 2008 I planted some kale and broccoli and they grew great.

I wanted to grow more food, but didn’t have the space. I had a strong urge to expand, so I told my neighbor in passing and he said, “I know just the place.”

There’s an undeveloped lot adjacent to his house that gets full sun. Technically, it’s city property, but my neighbor was the one who had to mow it and maintain it.

He suggested I garden there, so we made a simple deal: He’d supply the water and I’d handle everything else.

In 2009, we tilled up the 15′ x 30′ area which became the first three beds. Then each year after that, I’d dig a little more and by 2012, I’d built 4 more 45′ beds.

We’ve got a compost area a local landscaper tops off with grass. I’ve had people give me starts or swap seeds and most of the neighbors who walk by pause to say, “Nice garden.”

In 2016, I put in an irrigation system. There’s always something to do in the garden.

Tell us what you love about it.

I like digging in the dirt. I love putting a seed in the ground and having faith it will grow. I like weeding because I like getting to the root cause of things. I like the planning and strategy of “What will I plant this year and where?”

I love the cycle of composting all the spent plants, combined with grass clippings, and leaves my neighbor’s kids toss into the pile each Fall.

I love knowing where my food comes from and it feels good to know a seed I planted in March is providing food for me, my neighbors, and friends.

Above all else, I love to can and preserve what I grow. Having fresh tomato sauce or salsa, jellies, sauerkraut, pickles, and pumpkin on hand is special to me. I grow a lot of hot peppers and can hot sauce I eat every day with breakfast. Friends have said my tomatillo salsa could be sold in stores. A few years ago, I toyed with getting certified to sell “Mike’s Pumpkin Butter.”

I feel a deep sense of connectedness to nature through every step in this process.

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

Compost, wood, irrigation equipment and seeds.

I used to save seed, but it’s just too much work and takes too long – except for fava beans.

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

There’s a place called City Farm near my house in Portland. For a small place, they have everything you need.

I’ve also bought wood, supplies, and seeds at Fred Meyer, Lowe’s, and Home Depot.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Believe it or not, most of what I’ve done has been trial and error. Most things grow with little effort in the Northwest.

One book I still own is Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, by Steve Solomon.

How has your hobby changed your life?

Every vegetable I hated as a kid, I now love. I’m healthier in both mind and body thanks to gardening.

In the summer, my almost every morning ritual is to walk the garden with my first cup of coffee. I love when friends ask for a tour. I’ve met neighbors I never would’ve known.

It makes me feel good.

What advice do you have for others just starting out?

A lot of people say, “I’d love to have a garden, but I don’t have the space or I don’t have a green thumb.”

Just figure it out. I’ve literally thrown seeds down in early spring and let them go. They grow fine. You can grow in pots if you don’t have room and you can grow plenty of herbs inside your kitchen with little sun.

I encourage people to dismiss the belief, “I don’t have a green thumb,” because I think anyone can grow. It just takes faith – and some fertile soil 🙂

Matthew David Parker

Matthew David Parker is a talented photographer who operates his business from Las Vegas, Nevada. He’s the co-founder of Matthew David Parker Photography. The company offers on-site and studio photography services. Mr. Parker was once the chief executive officer of Krystal Perkins Media Group, which is based in Chicago, Illinois. While serving at Krystal Perkins, he gained experience that enabled him to establish his photography company.

 

In 2016, Matthew took more than 250,000 pictures. He’s widely recognized for his photography prowess as well as his eye for capturing excellent shots. David Parker grew up in New York and attended San Diego State University.

What is your hobby?

I love taking pictures. As a matter of fact, I can take pictures all day without getting bored. To me photography is everything, and I think I was born to do it.

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

I started taking pictures when I was eight years old. However, I took my first professional pictures in my early 20s. I helped one of my friends to take headshots for her modeling portfolio. She got a modeling gig and referred her friends to me. That’s when I began charging for my services. Now, I charge more due to the increase in demand, but I still love photography.

Tell us what you love about it.

Well, there are lots of things I love about photography. It’s my primary source of inspiration and enthusiasm. The thing I love most about taking pictures is the freedom to create new things. Photography also takes me to places I’ve never been. Additionally, it gives me an opportunity to work with different kinds of people and capture emotions and moments.

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

I’m not a member of any photography group yet. However, I often attend events held by photographers in New York and Las Vegas. On May 1st, I hosted an event dubbed “DIY Photography.” The main aim of the event was to bring together passionate photographers from different areas so that they can share ideas. I’m glad the event was a success. I intend to join some photography groups soon.

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

Yes, I have. Photography is just like any other business. You need to invest in good equipment to create high-quality products. I have bought different types of lights for our studio, and this has improved the quality of our pictures. Recently I purchased a wide angle lens from Nikon. The lens will allow my team and I to take pictures of groups and maintain crisp images.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I get my cameras and equipment from Nikon. They have some of the best cameras out there. I also get some of the equipment from Canon. Both companies offer me value for my money, which is important for every business.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I’d recommend Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” It’s a great eye-opener. I love how Eckhart talks about self-discovery and self-healing. Another book I’d recommend is “Principle Centered Leadership” by Steven Covey. This book is ideal for those who intend to turn their hobby into a successful business. It will help them understand the different leadership styles and the best qualities of leadership.

How has this changed your life?

Photography has actually changed a lot of things in my life. It has enabled me to look at things from different perspective. Consequently, I can make better decisions than before. My hobby has given me the chance to meet new people and share ideas. Also, it’s made me appreciate the creative process. I feel good when my clients are happy with their pictures. This gives me a sense of fulfillment.

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

It’s not easy to start something. But with perseverance and focus, they can make it. They need to understand that it takes some time to perfect the art if taking pictures. So, it’s important to exercise patience and learn from mistakes. What’s more, they shouldn’t think so much about the money they can make from their new found hobby. One needs to create value first.

Keith Bansemer of My Patriot Supply

Keith Bansemer is the vice president of marketing at My Patriot Supply, where the longtime expert in advertising, digital strategy, and eCommerce is responsible for directing the marketing efforts of multiple brands across more than two-dozen individual websites. Keith, a resident of northern Idaho who enjoys spending time off the grid near Upper Priest Lake in Idaho, has long been fond of the outdoors and spends a great deal of his time away from work hiking, gardening, and reading. Keith’s peers have praised the former radio talk show host for his natural leadership skills, tremendous foresight, and his consistent willingness to provide exceptional mentoring or guidance to anyone who happens to ask.

What is your hobby?

I enjoy anything involving the outdoors, especially hiking and gardening. That includes through the winter with an herbal garden in my kitchen window.

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

My family always kept a garden wherever we lived. We’ve canned different foods each fall. I learned so much about nature and the environment just from tending to the garden during each season that I couldn’t help feeling inspired to maintain a garden ever since.

Tell us what you love about it.

Gardening keeps me closely connected to the environment in which I live while also reminding me to appreciate all the time and energy that goes into providing nourishment — something too many of us take for granted. It’s a skill we all need to learn.

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

There are several community gardens in or around the area, so I like to help out whenever I am able.

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

Gardening is such a great hobby for the simple fact that, when done right, the expense to create and maintain a garden is minimal. I add homemade compost to provide the beds with nutrients during the growing season, and rarely do I need anything other than a bucket and a garden spade.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

There’s an organic market in town that sells fish emulsion and liquid kelp, which is useful for a quick foliar feeding.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Most people cite a lack of space as a reason why they don’t garden, so I often recommend that beginners find a copy of the original “Square Foot Gardening” (or the updated version, “All New Square Foot Gardening”) by Mel Bartholomew.

How has this changed your life?

Gardening reminds me of the limitless value associated with self-reliance. It also makes me that much more appreciative of our natural environment and all the vital resources we have available to us. Plus, it cuts my spending at the grocery store.

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

Focus on learning which crops perform best in your individual climate zone and begin with those first. Some crops can be especially challenging in certain regions, and this might discourage a beginner from developing a lifelong love of gardening.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

In addition to my passion for gardening, I always look forward to going on long hikes and enjoy reading as well.

Rocco Basile

Rocco Basile is one of the most recent talents to rise in the photography field. Born and raised in New York, his life has been permeated with the diverse sights of the city. Having lived in almost all of the boroughs, Rocco Basile is no stranger to the most iconic scenes the city has to offer. He has utilized his knowledge to produce some of the best skyline and candid photos in America. However, the subject of his camera lens lies most notably on the rare and beautiful instances that evoke a story. As such, Rocco Basile can be more accurately seen as a story teller first and a photographer second.

What is your hobby?

My main hobby is photography. Specifically, I am perhaps most well known for my photojournalism. Although, I do other types of photography as well such as landscape, fine art, wildlife, and portrait photography.

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

 I think it is mostly thanks to my mom that I took up photography. Living in New York City, she always encouraged me to go out and immerse myself with my surroundings. I was especially drawn to walking into art galleries and museums. I began documenting my trips with my family’s camera because I wanted to share with my mom the daily adventures I had.

Tell us what you love about it.

What I love most about photography is the ability to capture the overlooked moments and see the influence it has on people. It really is a case of a picture being worth a thousand words. There is so much story and emotion packed into just the right shot.

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

Before I started my own studio, I used to quite frequently participate in film and photography festivals. I mostly attended the ones situated in New York and California. However, I have also received exposure abroad in festivals based in Asia.

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

I have definitely had to invest in equipment for photography. People often think all I need is a camera, but there is a slew of gear that comes with it. I have bought countless batteries, tripods, and extremely pricey lenses. Beyond actual camera equipment is the need for editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Honestly, I find it more convenient these days to order online from stores such as B&H Photo Video. Back in my early years, I would purchase my required gear from stores locally. It is probably acquiring a sense of familiarity with the store owner and employees that I miss the most now.

Are there any good books for beginners?

It is difficult to recall them as I have read so many photography books. I would probably recommend Mastering Digital SLR Photography by David D. Busch for beginners. It contains some advanced material but nothing too daunting. If you want just the bare essentials starting from zero, I would say try Digital SLR Photography For Dummies.

How has this changed your life?

Photography has quite literally opened my eyes to the world for me, which has greatly changed my life. I have been fortunate enough to have my skills take me to places all over the world. My stay in Japan was a definite culture shock, but it is probably my favorite country I have been to.

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

I would advise beginners to not get caught up in the technical side of photography. It is way too overwhelming and it may even suck the satisfaction out of it. The one thing they should focus on is expressing themselves through photography. That is something I still carry on to this day. It is beneficial to apply this perspective as not only do they express who they are, they also learn more about their inner self.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I do have a few other hobbies on the side that I enjoy. I do not consider myself a master at it, but I try to make time to continue landscape painting. The passion for it sort of carried over from my own landscape photographs. It started out as an attempt to see how the expression of myself can vary between two different mediums with the same subject matter. I also enjoy being outdoors to stay physically active such as biking and hiking. Though I believe it has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby.

Narin Charan – CEO of Capital Alliance

Born and raised in sunny California, Narin Charan is the CEO of Capital Alliance, a tech-enabled direct lender dedicated to providing simple, transparent solutions for small businesses to obtain capital.

After 10 years of service as CEO for Capital Alliance,  Narin Charan carries the same enthusiasm and passion for his work as the early days starting the company out of a 150 square foot office in Orange County, California. To date, Capital Alliance has deployed over $500 million to thousands of small businesses across the United States.

Outside of his work, Narin Charan is an avid Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner and competitor.

 

What is your hobby?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

 

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

Since a kid, I have always been intrigued with the idea of Bushido, or the Way of the Warrior. The ‘way’ emphasizes samurai values like mastery, honor and loyalty. Our co-founder introduced me to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu back during our cold calling days. What started as a hobby became a lifestyle.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a game of submitting your opponent utilizing strategic positioning and leverage. Sounds uncannily similar to the business game, right? There are many parallels between combat and business – strategy, positioning, leverage, timing – the list goes on. The game unfolds at different cadences, but they are very similar.

 

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

The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community in general is like no other. We typically promote healthy lifestyle, humility, and constant self-development. I have met some amazing people on the mat. There are also the inevitable bonds formed from sharing years of blood and sweat with your training partners.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy by Miyamoto Musashi is an excellent book for anyone interested in martial arts or business strategy. Musashi believed martial arts involved a mastery of the mind rather than simply developing technical prowess.

 

How has this changed your life?

“There is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.”

“Do not sleep under a roof. Carry no money or food. Go alone to places frightening to the common brand of men. Become a criminal of purpose. Be put in jail, and extricate yourself by your own wisdom.”

“There is timing in the whole life of the warrior, in his thriving and declining, in his harmony and discord. Similarly, there is timing in the Way of the merchant, in the rise and fall of capital. All things entail rising and falling timing. You must be able to discern this.”

 

Enough said.

 

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

Accept the fact that you will be dominated and beaten regularly during the beginning stages of your training. Embrace this as part of the process. Be patient and enjoy the journey.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love to experience nature with my kids. I also enjoy running, the Arts, and reading about Philosophy.