Meet Alex, or as many of his friends call him: Nemo. Alex, a native to Miami Florida, graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in Sports Medicine - a degree his family and friends and parents thought would profitable, but one Alex wasn’t passionate about. In a field where eight years of experience is required to get any experience, Alex couldn’t find a job post grad in spots medicine, so he started working at AT&T - just trying to make ends meet. Him and his boss got to talking about his dreams and goals, about Full Sail, when his boss suggested he make the leap while he was young. He did. He jumped ship and changed his career around into something he was passionate about, studying audio engineering at Full Sail University no matter how foolish it seemed to everyone else. While he pursued his audio engineering and music career, him and crew decided that they needed a catch phrase - something in each song to let people know who they were (think DJ Khalid’s “We The Best”). They decided on “Foolies, it’s a movement.” Soon enough, people began latching onto the catch phrase saying, “I’m a Foolie! I'm willing to chase my goals and dreams no matter how crazy it is.”
For the last seven years now, Alex has been working on his clothing company: Foolies Limited Clothing. Foolies is all about inspiring people to live out their goals and dreams no matter how foolish it may seem.
I first discovered the Foolies brand and Alex’s story in Gary Vaynerchuck’s book, Crushing It!
The name “Foolies,” came from Alex and a friend’s desire to make a career out of music - how “foolish” it was when everyone else was going the classic college route.
Alex is back at Full Sail, this time studying Graphic Design. He’s always loved art and design. He’s looking to master his craft, so that he can elevate his clothing brand and himself.
He’s imagined hosting events in the future for all of the Foolies. Events to bring like-minded individuals together in a place where they can network, chase their dreams together, and have an amazing time doing it.
He’s also looking to get into a place where he’s speaking to students in the hood to inspire and uplift.
First Piece of Advice: If you’re looking to start a brand or a company, you’ve got to be consistent. People, the first time around, won’t understand - won’t get it - even if you make it as plain as day. They have to see it over and over and over again, and they’ve got to see that you’re staying true to whatever you say you’re doing. When you do, people will take note. Alex credits his consistency with Foolies as a key factor to being featured on Essence, Ambition Today, and, of course, Gary Vaynerchuck’s new book: Crushing It!
Consistency, not only in message, but in activity. Alex shares an illustration of a man digging through the ground in a dirt lot in search of treasure. After shoveling for so long, the man gives up, puts the shovel down, and walks away when under only a few more inches of dirt lay the treasure that he was seeking.
Alex sent Gary Vee a message in December of 2016, and Gary’s team interviewed him on June 28th, 2017. His page could’ve not made that book. Had he fallen off, had he stopped creating, had he stopped posting - they could’ve found a better feature for the book, but he was consistent and remains so to this day.
Another insight Alex gives into his success thus far is his ability to know and serve his target audience: women of color. He knows his audience, he knows how to talk to them, and he knows what they need. When he puts his target audience first and serves them well, they give all sorts of love back to the brand, which draws attention from others who may not even be in his target demographic (like me).
Here’s another one: Just because people don’t know what you can do with you craft doesn’t mean you don’t do it. He adds an important caveat, don’t get upset with these people. Take it, let it run off your back like water in the shower, because you know what you're after, so go after it with your whole heart.
Alex also suggests a shift in thinking - a positive shift. Don’t say, “oh, I can’t afford that.” Instead, ask, “how can I afford that?” Don’t say, “I’ll never make it.” Instead, ask, “what will it take to make it?”
Finally, he says you’ve got to write your dreams down - not because you’re going to forget, but because you need to remember right now.
Podcast SANS END theme music: Church by BenJamin Banger. Find him @ http://smarturl.it/hjfi20