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Hannah Siddiqui : “Know Your Worth”

This episode is available right now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartRadio and literally every podcast services. Just type "MaxSolaro" in the search bar and you'll find it!

She's back!

Last year, or last season, I don't know which sounds fancier, probably season. Last season I interviewed amazing photographer, writer and inspiring human being Hannah Siddiqui to try and get answers to all my questions about the world. I remember her telling me about astrology, right before literally opening my eyes by teaching me what "cis-gendered" meant and all the kinds of priviledges out there... We talked about so many different things that I can't possibly sum it all up. What I do remember though is being struck by her vulnerability and how honestly she shared all her stories to the stranger that I was. As an interviewer, people like Hannah are literal gold. So having tons of questions to ask her and only one hour to do so, I asked her if she'd like to come back on the show later, which she accepted... And here we are! I know I probably say that way too often but this is the best episode so far and you don't want to miss out. Hannah and I talked a lot about what it is like to be a creative person and deal with our emotion, and then progressively got into the business side of it all. Like... We actually talked money, which is usually a big taboo for everyone but maybe even more in the creative industry. Now the reason we talked about isn't that we suddenly turned into money-driven monsters who only "practice their art" to get rich and famous, but because Hannah brought us there by saying a phrase that caught my attention.

Know Your Worth

When she started out as a photographer, Hannah told me that she would work for very low prices, with clients that were disrespectful of her work and sometimes straight up mean. Some even threatened to sue her because they didn't get the exact picture they wanted... Even though they paid half the price they should have paid for what they got. She was still happy doing it because she was getting paid taking picture, which was amazing to her. She thought she was lucky already to make a little money doing that, until she talked to her father, an entrepreneur, who taught her an important lesson. He told her that she HAD to up her prices because she was working for less than what she was worth, and that her fear of losing clients was not well-founded. I mean, sure, she would lose those clients she had - clients who obviously toxic and did not appreciate her work as they should - but she would make new ones in the process, new customers that are ready to pay a higher price for higher quality pictures and find her work worth a few hundred dollars more. It was obviously hard for her to make that switch but now, looking back, she told me that this not only helped her career and finances (as she could afford new gear etc) but changed the way she works and sees her work. Why? Well because the clients she now gets aren't the same as she got before. No one threatens her, they are nice... So naturally she enjoys working with them a lot more. The interesting thing here is that her talent and passion have not changed at all. Her pictures are probably just as good but changing the way she looks at them and really assuming their worth has helped her enjoy taking them a lot more!

New Projects And Staying Busy

Another thing that always gets me when talking to Hannah is when I ask her "so what are you up to these days?" and she gives me a 5 minutes answer in which she talks about 157 different projects that she's currently working on. It's always inspiring to talk to her because as busy as she is right now, she still finds time to think about new projects and actually get them started... Which I'm personally not the best at. I am gradually trying to improve that and I would be lying if I said that following her on Instagram and even talking to her once in a while has not helped me do that. I now have a podcast AND an ACTIVE YouTube channel while working on other projects that will come in 2020, and knowing that there are people out there like Hannah who do it too helps me stay hopeful and positive. Yes, it's possible. Yes, I can do it. Because she did it and she is not a superhero, just a super motivated human being, trying to do things she enjoys for a living. So if there is one thing to remember after listening to this episode -and the previous one too, give me them listens guys - it's probably this: It is vital to know what you are worth as a creative and as a human being in your everyday life, in order to make sure you don't sell yourself short. Once you do that, everything is possible, and all you can make all your projects come to life if you are as dedicated as Hannah!
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Celinne Da Costa: Stop Blocking Your Truth!

This episode is available right now on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio and literally every podcast services. Just type "MaxSolaro" in the search bar and you'll get it! Celinne Da Costa is an amazing writer, storyteller and human being who used to work a 9 to 5 job she didn't love that much. She quickly realized it was killing her creativity so she decided to drop everything and go travel. For a year, she slept on friends' couches all around the world and met people from very different cultures and... I mean let me just start by saying how happy I am I even got a chance to talk to her, and how grateful I am that she was so open and willing to share her story with everybody, even giving us tips we can use in our own everyday life.

Stop blocking your truth

I guess it would be a good idea to start by explaining why I chose this title out of all the awesome quotes Celinne said in this episode. Spoiler alert: It's cause I related SO MUCH. Anyway. Ok. So. When I asked her whether she had always known she would be a writer, or if, quite the opposite, she had forced herself not to be "too" creative at one point of her life, Celinne was very quick to answer. No. She'd always LOVED to write, but had slowly given in and listened to the usual "You need to work hard to make a living", which made her leave her creativity aside. So despite being aware of that passion, Celinne got a 9 to 5 job that she wasn't crazy about. It's not that she hated it but... It just wasn't IT. She was simply doing something people recognized as a respectable activity in order to fit in an American society that values hard work more than anything else. As an immigrant, she struggled a bit before accepting that US way of life that puts work ahead of everything, including self-care, wellbeing etc. The consequence is quite obvious: she got stuck in a life that was not really hers but more like the one people wanted her to have, and it didn't make her happy. This feels like a sadly very common story that we've all heard way too many times... Some of us might even know people in a similar situation right now. Add to this a chronic depression she has always had to deal with her whole life and... Well this "common" story gets even more sad. But Celinne is unique and her rather drastic reaction shows it. She started to save up in order to be able to quit her job and travel around the whole world, as I told you before, discovered different cultures, met different people, and fell in love with their stories. She wanted to document everything as much as she could, and, in a way, go back to her "roots" by getting in touch with her creative side, her writer self. And that's when she realized that these stories people were sharing were very valuable, they defined them. She noticed how important storytelling is for us human beings. It became her story to tell others' stories, and she started to share and share and share... She got to a point where people noticed her on social media, and brands got interested in her newfound talent for storytelling, and since she was about to reach the end of her trip, she decided to try and make it her job by starting a business and becoming an entrepreneur. A logical conclusion to an amazing journey that took a young child who loved writing, through all the stereotypes and peer pressure society has to offer, and eventually brought her to a place of peace of mind where she could finally do what she had always wanted to do: tell stories.

Wait a minute.

Celinne also emphasized on the fact that everything is not perfect in her life right now, and that it will never be... And I love that honesty too. Indeed, as opposed to many entrepreneurs that  glamourize their job by showcasing the highs and hiding the lows, Celinne stays 100% real about what her life is actually like. Sure, she does work on her laptop near a beach from time to time, but she has struggled a lot to save up money and launch her business, she does work super hard and has to refuse to go out with friends quite often. I feel like it's important not to forget that and see the bigger picture, in order to make sure that you do something because you like it, and not just cause of the perks you think you might get from it. In the same way, she also mentionned her chronic depression and the fact that it does come back from time to time. And although she is now able to deal with it a little better, by accepting it and simply writing as much as possible to let all her feelings out... It's still there. It's just not that big anymore. In fact, this is probably the best advice I've ever gotten to fight depression: writing a LOT to analyze your feelings and get a more objective eye on what's really happening in our life. Courtney Diamond does it, Stephanie Kwong does it, Nabeelah Munshi does it, Hannah Siddiqui does it... Almost all of my guests who have had that problem solved it that way, so... You might want to try it too.

Saving Emotions For Rainy Days

It's important not to confuse "depression" and simply "feeling down". That's why Celinne made a difference between these two things she experiences quite often. Feeling down is natural and those moments end just as naturally. Her advice is to try and "build" on our "up moments", doing as much as possible and simply enjoying life, so that we can accept our "down moments" more easily and have time to take care of ourselves, breathe a little, and reflect. Celinne describes this in the most amazing way when she calls this "Saving emotions for rainy days". During those rainy days, she reflects and uses this connection to herself, all these emotions that you might call "sadness" but are more like "sensitivity" are a key to create more. She says some of her best work comes from those rainy days, and... I think it's a very interesting approach that certainly helps to tone down our usual reaction of "Oh no, I'm getting emotional, let's push down these emotions just to be safe". Because if you do that, you might miss the best of yourself, you'll just ignore a part of who you are and the consequences can be pretty serious. Celinne creates from both Darkness and Light and I find this incredibly inspiring and motivating, so I wanted to leave you on that note: Don't ignore your emotions. Don't ignore your dreams. And please stop blocking your truth. If you want to listen to Celinne, please check out this episode of Waves Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio , YouTube and all the other podcast platforms... And don't forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes too! You might also want to read her books too... Well they're all here!
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Stephanie Kwong : Check Your Beliefs!

Ok this interview has been recorded for WAY too long but I had to take a little break so I could come back with amazing episodes of Waves Podcast! Plus I went to ski, and I find it hard to edit while schussing down a mountain. Anyway. Stephanie Kwong is a hypnotherapist, podcast host and mindset mastery coach who I've been trying to have on the podcast for a few months now, but this super busy badass girl was obviously very hard to book. Not because she wasn't interested but because she works a lot between her business, her podcast and her own self. Ironically, these are also the exact reasons I wanted to talk to her.

Where to start?

Stephanie knows a lot about how the human brain works and how we can use it to our own advantage in order to grow and feel better in general... And this knowledge that mixes brain science with psychology and quantum physics seems like a perfect bundle of make-your-own-recipe-to-happiness. What I mean by that is that, as she made it clear, there's no unique solution to find happiness and be successful. It sounds obvious but a solution that worked for your favorite entrepreneur celebrity will probably not work for you because it doesn't match your need and your own personality. Trying to force yourself to follow a rule that does not go well with you is just a waste of time and could potentially have a repulsive effect that makes you think "f*ck it I'm never gonna make it, I quit"... Which is not what we want. The perfect solution does not exist. What you should look for is a solution that is right for you. To help you with this, Stephanie told us (almost) everything about the mechanism of the brain so that we can, once we understand it, start to work with it and shape our beliefs in a way that will help us reach our goals. Oh yeah and pay attention to that word, "belief", that's definitely a keyword here.

What's a belief?

I will try not to paraphrase her too much here, but a belief is basically a set of knowledge that has been forced upon us since our birth. They can be good (or just facts) like "I believe I can NOT fly" but also be very bad, like say "I'm not good at school so I'm stupid". They can originate in your parents' opinions, your teachers', society in general... Or even yourself sometime, as a child's brain is quick to misinterpret adults' words and draw unfortunate conclusions. These shape the way we act and see ourselves both consciously and unconsciously, and that's where it gets crazy! We think we decide what we do of our lives, what's in our reach or not... But we really don't. Our subconscious is 95% of our decision-making and most of us have no idea what it thinks and why it thinks that way. Therefore, being able to dive into it and to check your beliefs is key if you want to make choices completely freely. Once you're free from these old not-updated-to-what-your-life-actually-is thoughts, you can start moving on and actually manifest what want.

Law of attraction, quantum science and brain waves

If you're a regular here you probably what the law of attraction is. But if you don't let's just say that it's a rule that works just like gravity (all the time, all around us) that makes positive energies attract other, so if you want something you need to be positive, manifest it, and at one point you'll get it. This is very simplified and it obviously doesn't work that easily, so Stephanie did correct the common interpretation people have of this concept. For example, she added that you also have to ACT and work towards what you want. Not only display a desire to reach it. I was fascinated by everything she said about quantum science and how we are all surrounded by energy at all time, and how THIS energy rules what we actually get in our lives. I took the example of a guy who gets with a girl and all of sudden becomes a lot more attractive, and she analyzed each level on which this change of situation impacts HIM. From his posture, his mindset, all the way to his brain waves... Everything in him changes, making him more confident and attractive. Oh yeah, let's talk about brain waves and vibrations of the body in general. When she talks about energy, Stephanie often adds the idea of vibration which I'm a little more familiar with. It's the idea that your body emits vibrations that go out to the world and come back bringing us stuff, making things happen etc. In a way, you could see these things that will happen to you as your future, which means that these vibrations have an impact on your future... Which is crazy. But how do you do that? Well these vibrations that have an impact on your future AND your wellbeing come mainly from your brain and heart. Stephanie first talked about the brain and how working on our mindset by updating our beliefs and focusing on positivity through meditations and tons of other methods, will help you change the way your brain vibrates... And in the long run your heart too. The consequence is that inserting positivity will attract more positivity and put you in a vertuous circle that will hopefully last for a good while! Again, there are different ways to reach it that will be more or less efficient depending on your personality and the situation you are in right now. But Stephanie told us everything we need to know in this episode so you HAVE to check it. You owe it to yourself! I'm not even overselling it, it is slowly changing my life! Meditation, repetition, and doing it at the right times of your day, where your brain is ready for it... This will help you get there! So please listen to this episode of Waves Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio , YouTube and all the other podcast platforms... And don't forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes too!
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Shereen Kassam: A Way To Get My Voice Back

Shereen Kassam is a comedian and host of the podcast Creative Breakthrough... And she's also my guest this week. The reason I wanted to talk to her is not only that I love her podcast - although that probably played a part in it - but more that I find her story quite inspiring. Last week, I talked about how I found my passion and how naturally it happened, without me having to force it or anything... It just "came to me". Well Shereen has quite a unique story. Her first contact with comedy was when she went to watch a show, and did NOT appreciate it. I mean, she didn't like the show but fell in love with the world of comedy, and stand-up in particular. What amazed her was comedians' ability to talk about what they were feeling and express themselves with complete freedom. As a muslim in the post 9/11 United States, she explained that she had started to feel like she wasn't represented anymore... As if she didn't have a voice. But comedy provided a new way to express herself.

I want my money back

Paragraph title directly taken from Margareth Thatcher's anti-EU speech in the British parliament, even if we're now a month away from a Brexit that will most likely cause a crisis in the United Kingdom... I know it looks bad but let me explain. First, this is a reference to the fact that Shereen grew up partly in the UK. Second, that's basically what she told the manager of the venue in which this show she hadn't enjoyed had taken place. She wanted a refund because the show was just not funny enough... Bold move, right? Well wait for the even more bold answer from that guy, who told her "Well I'll give you your money back if you go on stage and give it a try. It's not as easy as it looks." ... And there you have it. All the ingredients needed for someone to switch from a corporate-career-driven Shereen to completely change the course of her life. She went on stage and the way she describes her experience is so perfect I actually have to quote her. "You've ever tried sky-diving? No? Well compared to stand-up, sky-diving is pretty boring. It's fun for the first few seconds when you're falling but then there's the parachute and it's just you waiting to finally land. But stand-up is pure thrill. It's exhilarating."


So yeah, I learnt a new word: exhilarating. And I also got the confirmation that I might be interested in trying stand-up. But other than that, I was amazed by how beautiful this story was and how perfectly timed everything was. I mean, Shereen had this need to express herself but wasn't really aware of it. She had never gotten even close to arts or acting... Let alone comedy! In fact, when her parents later found out about her new passion via a video of hers someone forwarded them... They didn't understand. Her mom even thought she was stripping so... Needless to say they didn't really love the idea that their daughter was going on stage to tell jokes and make people laugh. Nobody ever told her "oh you're funny, you should be a comedian". All she was meant to do was study, get a good job and make money... Which I'm sure is the case of many of you. I mean at least I'm assuming so because I was in a very similar situation. Get good grades, be a lawyer, don't study art, don't do art, just work and make money. That doesn't mean that our parents didn't want us to be happy of course, but it was just not a viable option in their mind. It was not something that was worth working hard in the hope of maybe turning it into a job. But guess what? She did it anyway.

I just learnt how to make it work

This necessity to express herself, this love for comedy and the chance that was offered to her... It certainly did fuel her imagination and she soon started to think about making jokes as job and not a hobby. Now keep in mind, I keep describing this story as "natural" because of how perfectly it happened, almost as if it was written by someone somewhere. It wasn't the result of her trying hard to find a passion or anything, it came to her more than anything else. BUT, that doesn't mean it wasn't difficult, obviously. From dealing with shady promoters to making fun of hecklers while making sure you're not being too harsh and they're not going to wait for you outside after the show... It wasn't easy either. In fact this paragraph title is directly taken from our conversation, as Shereen said: "If you really want to do something you make it work. So I just learnt how to make it work". She had to find time to write, to study, to practice and to perform comedy WHILE having a full-time job. That doesn't sound easy now, does it? But whenever you feel that passion, that "burning desire" to do it, as Nate Rose puts it, you just find a way. Not because you want to, but because you NEED to. Because Shereen had something to say, because she wanted people to hear it, and because she simply found comedy f*cking cool.

What about the podcast?

Yeah, I know. That's how rich this episode is: I've written a whole article based on barely a half of all Shereen and I talked about. The other half was basically me asking her about how she started the podcast and her telling me how much she prepared for it, and yet how surprised she was by the reaction she got. Cause yes, Creative Breakthrough is a very successful podcast and there's a reason for it. It is interesting, motivating and inspiring as Shereen shares her personal knowledge and stories to help us grow as creatives. Plus every other week she talks to a creative person who's "winning" as she says, from renowned TV writers to shoe-makers/sellers... This podcast simply has it all. Oh and the host is pretty funny too, in fact why don't you go ahead and meet her? You just need to listen to this episode of Waves Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio , YouTube and all the other podcast platforms... And don't forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes too!
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Everybody’s Trash, But It’s Alright

Yes. This is a Valentine's Day edition of Waves Podcast. And yes. It's still me hosting.


In this bonus episode, I wanted to do something related to love, because that's kind of what Valentine's Day is about. Now if you're a regular around here, you probably remember me talking about this topic a few times recently, with Francis James, Andrew James and Sober, and mentioning every time that I am single. In fact Andrew and I even joked about our complete lack of skills in this area, which was fun but could let you guys think "So what the hell are you gonna tell us if you don't know anything about it?". Good point. I'm not super experienced in relationship, to say the least. BUT. I still think I have a few ideas that might be worth considering. In fact most people would talk about love in the context of a relationship, from a couple's point of view, and tell you how you can improve things, make it work and so on. Personally, I'd like to do the exact opposite. I'd like to talk about love from a single person's point of view, and focus on mindset, behaviour, attitude that might help you deal with single life. Cause let's be honest, that's all I really know. Obviously I'll take a few personal examples but also that of friends, or stuff that me and my guests talked about: Jordan Harry, Nabeelah Munshi, and the other previously cited.

Everybody's trash, but it's alright.

This is the title and the heart of this episode, so I feel like I have to start by explaining it a little. First off, it's a reference to a book by someone I would really love to talk with on the podcast. The book is called Everything's trash but it's alright, it's by Phoebe Robinson and it's not related to love or anything but I love it so much I thought it was a good way to just talk about it. Done. Now second thing I wanted to say is that it is NOT negative AT ALL. It could be understood that way but I want you to focus on the end: It's alright. See having a lot of single friends, guys and girls, who have had bad experiences with relationships - I'm talking girls cheating on guys, guys being jerks... A whole mess - I have heard a lot of complaints from one gender on the other. All my friends are the victims in these stories, the honest ones, the ones who should technically just move on and find someone better than their ex but... It's a bit more complicated. Instead of moving on, we all have a period of repressed rage against that person who made us sad, and transfer it towards their whole gender. In my case, spending time talking to a girl who actually had 2 boyfriends already did make me mad against all women for a bit... Which is stupid, of course. While I think that this type of reaction is sort of natural, it doesn't make it okay at all. Traditionally, I feel like the common sentence used to be "Men are trash" because men used to be able to do what they wanted to do without being judged way more than women. I mean it's still the case now, but I think that feminism is starting to affect the way women behave, and that they are finally starting to be equal to men in society. I mean it takes time for people's mindsets to change and actually acknowledge that fact - which seems obvious to most of us - but it is on its way. As a result, they can now act how they want. Do what they want. Does that mean feminism is bad for love? NO. A friend of mine recently sent me an article which had very obviously been written by a frustrated sexist dude that explained how women are now more powerful than men because they are now able to work and don't rely on them anymore. I mean I'm trying to sum it up but the idea was that things were better before because women had to settle with a guy to be able to live. That's f*cking dumb, of course, but it does prove that things are changing, and that men are not able to control relationships anymore, causing some to react and write articles like this. Yeah, now women are allowed to do what they want, they can be trash too, and that's great.

Great? How?

Well bare with me. Men could do what they want and not women, so some men were "trash" and women suffered. Now things are getting balanced and everybody can do what they want and be a jerk. Now Everybody's trash, or CAN BE trash, which means that things are finally fair. It might be new for men but it's actually just the way human beings as a whole work: some don't want the same things as others, and will screw you up in due time. Some people are bad, some aren't. But it's not defined by gender anymore. Although you might suffer more if you're not lucky, it also means that nobody's forced to stay with someone who disrespects them. A super cool girl might have been "forced" to be with a jerk in the past, but now she can do what she wants. So if you are a super cool guy you technically have more chance to find your match, no?

What's "trash" anyway?

That's another thing I wanted to talk about. Who decides who's trash anyway? This word is just based on your own personal opinion which differs from that person's own view of things. It doesn't mean someone's bad, it just means they're not the right for you. Maybe someone would love a more "free" relationship, or whatever else. The problem is more that you need to make sure of what each other wants and see if it's an actual "match". Not just a tinder match based on your Facebook likes and profile pictures. See? That brings me to my second part: Self love. You need to take time to think about what you want, focus on how you feel and be cool with yourself before looking for someone to spend your time with. That includes all kind of things. It's about well-being, peace of mind, self-love and all that. It's basically just finding yourself before searching for someone. It makes total sense to me, and I do subscribe to the idea that you can't build on unsafe foundations. First you have to prepare yourself and only then you'll be able to look for more. Another topic I find interesting is that you need to accept your single life to actually get out of it. What I mean by that is that, as Sober and I mentionned a few weeks ago, you shouldn't try to find someone just because you have to. You shouldn't feel like you are forced to do it socially to be accomplished. The norm is being single, not with someone you don't like. Jordan Harry also talked about his girlfriend who needed him to be alright in her life, and how bad that was for their relationship. They ended up breaking up for this precise reason: she wasn't able to live on her own, she didn't have those stable foundations and had already starting building a relationship on it. Finally, a word on confidence. Many guys complain that women like anybody with confidence and that only a-holes are completely confident in themselves... And there's some truth to that. First, yeah women like confident guys, because we all do. Again, it's not about gender. If we're being honest we all love confident people who seem like they know who they are, what they want, unstoppable, blablabla. Also, yes, those a-holes are confident because they have never ever questionned themselves, doubted, or anything like that, which could mean that they are more likely to find a girl than "normal" guys. Again, "normal" isn't the right word but you get it, like, "average guys" or something like that. But does that mean these average guys can't become as confident as a-holes? NO. They actually can! And how? Well by doing everything I mentioned above, working on themselves, introspection, knowing who they are. They don't need to fake a super manly man persona, they just need to figure out who they are and be honest about it. Then confidence will grow and hopefully help find the right person! Okay I know that this might be more helpful for men and seem like a dude's article but it is really not. Although I'm using mostly guy's experiences, I want you girls to noticed what's written between the lines here. Everything I just said also applies to girls, concerning confidence and introspection etc. AND you can add to this the fact that it is now okay to behave the way they want without feeling judged. I know having sex used to be seen as something good for a guy and bad for a girl but it is DIFFERENT NOW. You can be who you want to be even more than before so please, take that into account as you try and figure out what you want right now. If you just want sex it's fine, say it, maybe guys will be into it and maybe they won't, and same goes for guys. I really believe that this whole "People are trash" mostly comes from a lack of communication and that if nobody was scared to be judged they wouldn't feel like they have to lie. Okay now that's officially the longest article I've ever written here, but it's still like 50% of what I said in this episode of the podcast, so if you made it this far you should probably consider having a listen on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio , YouTube and all the other podcast platforms... And don't forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts or iTunes too! ;)
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Andrew James : Focus On One Thing And Stick With It

Please, do not miss this episode.

I don't know if you know Andrew James already, but you definitely should listen to his story. Andrew is a Youtuber who currently has 113,641 subscribers - this number will probably be higher when you read this - and is only 17 years old. I discovered him through his filmmaking tutorials and loved how unique his style was, the way he makes us get to know him and learn about his personality through his super well edited videos... So it was amazing for me to talk to him. As I said on this episode of Waves Podcast, I had a ton of questions to ask him so it was super hard to select the ones I should ask... So I just went with the flow of the conversation, and tried to orientate it towards his story more than the technical aspect of being a Youtuber, which might not be interesting for most people. I mean I did talk about it because that's what he does, but I feel like we really got to learn about him and the way he sees his future, his goals and himself.

17? No way!!

That was my first thought when he told me his age. I know that judging on someone's age is not the most relevant thing to do, that everyone's got their own story, their own rhythm, and that some "succeed" earlier than others... But come on! This is impressive and I feel like it must be acknowledged! And I'm not only talking about his YouTube accomplishment by the way. Andrew also showed an intellectual maturity in the way he understands life and his dedication to work hard and reach his goals as soon as possible. Next one? Becoming an freelance photographer and videographer while keeping growing his channel as fast as it is right now. Tough one but nothing impossible for him.

Focus on one thing

I didn't ask what the key to YouTube success was but Andrew gave it anyway. When asked a question about what he would have wanted to know or to improve when he was younger, he shared this one trick that he thinks can bring success to anybody, no matter what they do. I think it proves how much this guy has YouTube written in his DNA, how much he loves the platform, which is also something I think a lot of new Youtubers don't understand. Anyway. This trick is: CONSISTENCY. Now I know you may have heard that before since most youtubers talk about it in their videos, but Andrew did something most don't:  he explained what he meant by it. There are two types of consistency: Consistency in what you do, and in frequency. For example, if you start a gaming channel, you can't just make a video completely off-topic and expect people to like it as much as they did the others. In the same way, if you usually upload once a week, spending three weeks without uploading will hurt your channel. I mean, doesn't it make sense? See, I've been guilty of this a LOT recently. My Youtube channel is probably the most irregular on the platform and everytime I decide to start posting more, something happens that forces me to postpone... In fact I'll talk about this in my next video. Anyway, so I was aware of that frequency problem I had, but had never thought about the type of content I made. I mean don't get me wrong, I know about niches and marketing and all that, but I never actually took time to assess what I do and see under which categories it falls... And whether or not I think someone would subscribe to my channel upon discovering it. In my case, I think that my personality sort of saves me, as everything I do sort of has a bit of comedy in it. I'm not saying I'm a joke, but even the videos I find "serious", as they deal with real important topics, do have a few jokes in them and have quite a lighter tone... But it's pure luck! Now that I'm thinking of starting a little "show" on Youtube that will be released every week, I'm starting to wonder about vlogs and how I could make them in a way that goes well with that show... And should I have another show too that's different but still comedy? I don't know! So many questions!! Please come back Andrew!!!

Hustle Porn.

One thing I knew about Andrew is that he liked New York City and the city's biggest Youtuber Casey Neistat... And a few days before he and I talked, Casey posted a video on his channel talking about Youtube Burnout, AND the concept of Hustle Porn and the debate that revolves around it. Now what's hustle porn? Well first: don't worry, it's safe for work. It's simply the fact that some people and movies romanticize the hard work that leads to success, selling an idea that looks much better than how it actually feels. For example, creating Facebook seems super fun and easy if you watch The Social Network... But it was probably a lot different in reality. The consequence is that many see that "hustle" thing as an easy/glamorous activity when it actually isn't... Which in turn makes them either feel bad for not hustling enough and not being successful, OR feel bad for working a lot harder that they thought they would have to. Andrew James talked about this concept and reminded us that although he himself is on what he calls his "daily grind" to post three videos a week, he is also aware that work is not ALL, and that you should try and find a balance between working hard and taking care of your own well-being. In fact, we suspect that it might one of the reasons Casey Neistat recently slowed down his YouTube channel, posting a few videos a week instead of his former daily vlog... He might have just gotten lost in all this too... So be careful with that! We talked about this topic a LOT and I loved confronting my French chill-vibed education to Andrew's super efficient mindset as it helped me learn a lot about myself and how I could improve on that. But that's not all, we talked about many other interesting topics such as bullying, motivation, inspiration and played a few silly games too! So feel free to have a listen on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio , YouTube and all the other podcast platforms... And don't forget to leave a review on Apple Podcasts or iTunes too! ;)
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Sober: Be Around People That Are Better Than You

Well... Seems like I got to talk to one of my favorite artists again. Back in October I had already had a very interesting chat with rapper Nate Rose on Waves Podcast. Well this week's episode is with his super talented friend Sober. Both are featured on one of my favorite songs of 2018 called Yes Man, a very chill vibed summer joint... So I was obviously delighted to be able to spend some time talking to yet ANOTHER up and coming artist and as a fan of his, I got super hyped when he told me about all the music he's going to release in 2019, starting with his new single Pretty Lies available now on Apple Music and Spotify. My first question was the most obvious one: why this stage name, Sober? And... Well I'm not going to give you the answer here, to make sure you actually have a listen - yeah, I'm evil - but I can say I was very surprised! Plus, as a content creator, or whatever is the appropriate term, this conversation was a weird mix of inspiration, introspection and realisation. Let me explain.

What is an artist?

I always try to understand my guest as much as possible and sort of get to know them and how they function. In Sober's case, I was amazed by how clearly he sees the path between where he is and where he wants to be. He seems to have decided what his goals were a while ago, and been driving towards them on cruise control ever since. He's not in a hurry, he knows it takes time and effort, so he just keeps working whenever he can and knows he will eventually reached his destination. I found this both inspiring and just straight up amazing. The amount of confidence and peace of mind it requires are so unnatural to me that it had to catch my attention. I mean, as an artist, you obivously need a lot of confidence to express yourself and share it on the Internet - believe it or not, Internet people aren't the nicest. No matter what you do, you are like a walking target to whoever will not be a fan of your work. This is just a fact that you must admit and deal with somehow if you plan on creating stuff and sharing them. But THIS right here, I mean the ability to set a goal and not freak out about whether you're going to reach it is amazing and realizing it sort of turnt me upside down. In the same vein, Sober has a clear vision of who he wants to be as an artist and gave me a few examples of artists he respects a lot, and I couldn't agree more with him. The first he mentioned was Chance The Rapper and his actions to try and help the school system in his hometown, which is obviously something that should be emulated by everyone who can. He wants to be honest with his fans and "get to a point where he can give back" which is super laudable. But having role models doesn't mean copying them. He made a point to clarify this. He wants to exist on his own and added that when a rapper just imitates another he might get a bit of attention but it just won't last for him, as people will quickly realize what he is doing, who he is, and his lack of honesty. Sober wants to have his own sound, as he says. Reach a point when people can hear a song and go "oh that sounds like Sober" just like we can identify Childish Gambino's style or Chance's voice. This is what an artist is, and I had never really thought of it. I mean I had the same vision but just never took time to think for a bit and focus on it. Being a guy who wants to make videos and stuff that could potentially qualify as art, it is definitely a topic that needed to be dealt with for me, and I can now see what this status means. All the door it opens and how you can use them for the better.

Human beings and stuff

But we also talked about stuff that have less to do with art and more to do with just human beings. He and I share the same passion for travels but unlike me, he is more impulsive by nature and doesn't think twice before going on a trip. For example, he mentioned a road trip across the USA that he did after dropping out of Uni... Well I dropped out of University too but... I spent my time working on other stuff. I never really took time to breathe. In fact, this is a topic I talked about on a Bonus Episode called Life Is A Pressure Cooker - weird title, I know, that's why I like it - as I shared my experience at this time. I was the kind of person that knows they feel bad, don't change their behaviour... And still wonder how things aren't better. Well the answer is simple: you need to breathe. To let some steam out. to do something else than your 9 to 5 job, or whatever activity is suffocating your spirit. The way Sober puts it was funny because it is exactly how I see things now looking back, he said "well maybe it's just that? maybe you just need an out? Maybe it's an easy solve!". That's how I feel when I think about it: I could have gotten MUCH better SO fast if I had just taken a bit of time to think a little. This interview was a perfect Waves Podcast-type cause it's a blend of what my guest does as a job, and who he is as a person, which is why I'm so proud to share it with you guys. We also had a lot of fun and laughed a lot, I started to do a few little games which was interesting too, and I'd love to know what you think of these. Anyway I got to start looking for another guest next week, I'll leave you to it, please have a listen on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio , YouTube and all the other podcast platforms... AND LEAVE A REVIEW ON APPLE PODCASTS THANK YOU! ;)
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