You may notice something a little different about this post. 1. The person in it is not me. (At least I really hope you noticed that...). 2. The person in it is a dude. That's right - sound the alarm - a guy has infiltrated the estrogen friendly campus of The Fresh Factor. But not just any dude, people, Dennis Som. In the name of bringing you creative go-getters, and being that I'm a huge fan of men's fashion as well, I decided to sprinkle a little differentness on the blog today. We will return to our regularly scheduled program, but Dennis is one of my favorite people to hear creative perspective from. Want to see why? Of course you do! Keep-a-readin'!
"Inspiration, is a big word in my book." He says as we start our enlightening conversation, which was filled with fresh perspective and plenty of quotables - keep reading for those. I met Dennis years ago. I've watched him expand his interests, his brand, and his reach. Starting Driftline, which you were introduced to here, as an automotive performance parts company and, upon the economy taking that nosedive we all remember so well - he figured out he had to change his approach. Having had successful events for Driftline - he turned it into an events company and streetwear brand. I love a good story of turning a problem into an opportunity. Ingenuity ftw.
He's been a basket ball player and B-boy (see above), a race car driver and an events planner. Basically the kid does/has done everything. We started to talk about focus and the creative mindset. Focus. That's something Dennis fills is a roadblock for him. I can relate. "I wake up and I wanna rule the world, so I try to...but if I'm doing 15 things at 110% - that means I'm really doing 10 things at 10%" (Quotable #1). So we wondered aloud - is that just a condition of a creative/entrepreneurial personality? Being interested in/inspired by the world around you and always reaching for the next idea. Is it a problem or just a state of being?
Continuing this line of discussion, we talked about the journey that is life. As a creative person/entrepreneur your wheels are always turning. Whether it's thinking of another perspective to come from, an original idea, an improvement on an old one...it just never stops. I whole heatedly agree with the way Dennis puts it, "It's cool in a sense and a curse in another sense. It can look crazy, but it can keep you sane." (Quotable 2).
" (Numero 3). An interesting concept...I likened it to sharks - if they stop swimming, they die. At least I think that's sharks...or turtles...or manataees...in any case, I think it's the same with artistic types. You just can't stop creating - sometimes even if you want to. There's always more to do. It's just the way we're wired. So, fellow creatives, we are sharks. That's a pretty cool mascot. We should get jerseys or something... ."
So, in light of that, if one is never really "done," how does one define success? "Doing things in life that you don't regret. I don't have regrets. That's a success. I smile everyday because I do what I want to do."(4..if you're keeping track).
As our conversation rounded the bend to full circle, we concluded this exploration of the creative/entrepreneurial/go-getter/hustle hard, mindset. I wanted to know what kept him going in the 14 million projects (this may be slight hyperbole) he has going on and what his objective was on this never ending journey, "My drive is my gift. Hopefully people see that." "You have one life to live - do it. Go out and get it. You have things to conquer...When you approach something kill it. Go to war at it."
"What's holding you back? You are what's holding you back. Once you change your mindset - you change your lifestyle. I want to be that match, that torch...I want to inspire other people. Once you put that spark in 'em, the may never stop again." (That was a whole slew of quoteables I hit ya with just then. Boom.) "Inspiration," he says as we end, "That's a big word for me." That, my friend, is clear.
Now that we're all inspired, check out Driftline and this fantastically fun event, Beauties & Bowties on November 16th at the Bellmore - check out the promo for details, you might see a familiar face.....
Check in on Twitter for more Dennis-isms....they get gooder. Yup. Gooder. Follow Dennis on Instagram: @whipsandkicks
Pants: Levis New York
Shoes: SB Dunk Gucci//Lebron Sprites//Nike Lunar Safaris//Ronnie Fieg Coves
What's your take on the creative mind set?