Years in St. Pete
Global technology project lead for Nielsen. I'm the vice chair of the board of an organization called Onbikes, which raises money to build bicycles that are purchased at a dramatic discount from global distributors. Some days when I don't feel like driving and I have everything within a walkable distance, I'll tour out my car. The side hustle that I really enjoy the most is the one that provides me with a creative outlet, and that's our artist collective, New Mutiny.
What do you do?
Onbikes gives bikes to foster kids in the seven-county region here in the Bay. In New Mutiny, there are seven independent artists and musicians who are all active in other groups and other bands. We come together about once a month to either play shows or support one another's various endeavors. We've got some big plans to grow that over time.
Why do you do it?
New Mutiny gives you that sense of community and that creative outlet as well as that sense of family, but can also provide some nice revenue on the side.
What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)
If you're a creative soul, you crave that outlet. I'm an only child, and I've always found myself to be really comfortable being alone and being expressive. I think I just happen to be one of those people who needs that outlet for therapeutic or cathartic purposes. When you come together with like-minded folks who similarly don't just enjoy the creative process, but actually need it in their lives, you can really make some beautiful art.
What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?
That there's not enough time or hours in the day or resources to accomplish your goals with your side hustles or your creative ventures. You do have to be creative to find that time, and to carve that out, you obviously have to have a vision. I couldn't imagine my existence without having these outlets, partnerships and the sense of community that comes along with them. We need to have that element in our life, and if it's important enough, you find the time, you make the time.
What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?
That you are in a constant state of awarneess of the sacrifices that you're making in order to execute on the plan for the side hustle. And you fail a lot. When you experience that type of failure, you really have to fall back on the confidence that you have in yourself and in your friends who are surrounding and assisting you. You just have to push through it, there's really no other option. Don't picture success all the time; sometimes you got to think about what rock bottom looks like.
What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?
Be fiscally conservative. You need to be transparent about the dollars. Be committed to being a budget hawk, because sustainability might be several months away. The longer you can extend your "burn rate," the better off you'll be in the long run.
Why Tampa Bay?
This is the hidden gem of the state, the region, the country, the world, really. I’ve been to various different cities all over the world, and they’re all very impressive and majestic, but I can’t think of a single one of them that I’d rather be in than here. Both sides of the bay, this community is wonderful. The people really make it. Everything else is just kind of a bonus, that we have water, beautiful weather, sunshine, great civic parks, beaches and things of that nature. But it really comes down to the people. The people here, both in Tampa and St. Pete, and even the Clearwater area as well, have a lot of civic pride, that sense of community, and a lot of people’s identities are wrapped up in the culture of this region. To me, the most effective economic development initiative in the history of the Bay Area is the visit-a-friend initiative, which is a very informal initiative. For a long time, there was probably a reality, and the reality was followed with the semi-accurate perception that there weren’t the resources or opportunities in this region for it to be economically viable. Now that is 100 percent not the case, and the economy is growing on a seemingly daily basis in this region. It’s so exciting to be a part of a region that is on the cusp of an economic explosion, and has already seen a lot of the benefits of that. I couldn’t imagine a better place to raise a family, make music, be part of the arts scene, and create cool technology with various friends and associates. I just love being here.