The holidays are here and with that comes the joy of magical festivities, the sweet sound of Christmas carols, beautiful lit streets with the wet reflections of bright lights, and...oh yes, I almost forgot...spending time with family.
I'm going to be frank here, because that's what I do best. It isn't always blossoms and butterflies during the holidays especially when you have multitudes of diverse personalities in a cramped room, sipping on egg nog, and attempting to make small talk. Come on folks, they don't make those ridiculous family holiday movies every year for nothing.
Where am I going with this?
My 2017 holiday season didn't started out the way I hoped however I have had some time to think about it and the older I get the more I realize what my very wise Aunt has been trying to teach me since I was young:
(Yoda Aunt Becky, wise she is.)
The most important thing that crossed my mind while experiencing this less than ideal beginning of the holiday season: so many people in the world have way worse situations than me. Although it may not always be blossoms and butterflies, I definitely live a Life full of them. I personally know people who've lost loved ones a week before Thanksgiving so now they're forced to experience their 2017 holiday season never seeing the people they love and care for again.
So in the grand scheme of things, who cares that something didn't work out the way I hoped. I am breathing, living, happy, painting, dancing, and damn excited for a magical Christmas morning.
Happy Holidays and when the holidays get you down, drink some egg nog and sing your heart out to Christmas carols and just remember, there are some people sleeping outdoors with nothing left. (But you can be that person to make them smile.)
Peace and Joy,
Dear Digital Diary,
I have always been the type of person to think about the things I'm grateful for but with Thanksgiving approaching, I find myself thinking about it even more.
In a world where attention is shorter than ever and everyone thinks they are King of the freeway so they would rather ride's someone ass to get to their throne, it's easy to lose sight of what matters most: living Life in the present.
Here are random things I'm grateful for in no particular order:
1. Freedom: I get to choose my destiny and that's a beautiful thing
2. Family: They drive me nuts sometimes but they are by far my favorite people
3. My husband: Treats me like a Queen, that is all
4. My career: Not a job, a career, one that I love and I am passionate about
5. My talents: Talents are learned but some people are simply born with the gene, I can paint like no one's business and it's a therapy for me and for that I am grateful
6. Comforts: The car I drive, the clothes I have, the cozy home with a California King, and too many shoes...(remember to always give back)
7. The Digital Age: I am a fan, I see the benefits, so many people forget how is was just 15 years ago...GAME RECOGNIZE GAME!
8. Q-tips: Because what else would satisfy such an itch
I would love to hear what you are grateful for?
Don't forget to follow me on Facebook, INSTA, YouTube, and Twitter if you want to kill some time!
Be back soon,
While I was stuck in Bay Area traffic, I had an idea for my blog. Most of my content ideas for my YouTube channel and my blog happen in traffic. I guess if I ever get writer's block I know exactly what to do.
My blog is quite deprived of my attention. I work full-time as a corporate marketing manager for an IT security company, have a 2 year old and an 11 year old, I'm married, and have 2 pets. Not to mention a hobby for creating art and slap OCD on top of it all, and well, you get a person moving a million miles an hour.
I got to thinking, in order to consistently write content, why does it always have to be some epic life changing story? My "I don't give a F*ck" attitude chimed in and made me realize it doesn't need to be. So here I am and here it is: my first Digital Diary entry. I plan to create these entries frequently, and although most of them will be random rants and useless information, maybe just one person in the world will gain insight, value, or simply a good laugh.
Recently my husband and I took the leap and started saving for a house. For those of you who live in the Bay Area (we live in San Jose, CA), you understand how laughable it sounds to save for a home here. Our loose plan: use an FHA loan to own here but no matter what happens, we plan to move out of state within the next 7 years. Bye-bye Cali, your over congestion, rude and ridiculous drivers, and over-priced housing has been fun but...
Holidays are Here
Amongst saving for a home, the holidays are here! The best part: family and food. We aren't buying gifts this year except for the kids. It's funny though, I have seen first hand how many "things" are wasted due to excessive buying during the holidays by people overall. Remember folks, cater to the trend of everyone getting offended by everything and don't dare express a "Merry Christmas." (Or just be you and stop caring what others think)
It's here and I love how everyone and their mother have an opinion. The one piece of advice I have taken from everyone and their mother is "to cherish every moment because it goes too fast." I actually took this literally and will just sit and engage in playtime with my daughter, putting everything else aside. I think that is the secret to it all, to raising a good human being, is to just spend time with them.
I know what you are all thinking, "he whose name must not be spoken." I have nothing to say here about politics, however, I recently heard a YouTuber say "overall, it's a great time for humans to be living." I cannot agree with this more. There will always exist a monster in your life in some way, you can be negative about it and let it rule over you or you can be positive and transcend it.
7 Year Anniversary
I have been with my husband for 7 years and, no joke, we are extremely happy, have a healthy relationship, and see nothing but success in our future. Was it always like this? Absolutely not. What's the secret? Not sure, but what I do know is that we continue to grow together even with our faults and always believe in one another. You can have different opinions on Life and you should. Learn to talk about money, how to raise kids, and about religion and politics.
Ask yourself, if you were locked in a 5x5 room with this person for 1 week, would you last?
Well, that's all I got for today (and if you haven't started Stranger Things on Netflix, get on that now!)
Thanks for reading,
So why am I writing this and who is it for?
I am writing this because, as a human, I experience emotions like frustration, anger, devastation, despair, and to put it simply, I get pissed off just like everyone else in the world. Does this make me a bad person or weak? Everyone from Christians to Buddhists, daughters to grandmothers, and even "chillers" experience some degree of these feelings at some point in their life.
This blog is to whoever will listen, to those of you dealing with the same thing, and to those of you who are the cause of such frustration. It's ultimately for anyone to read.
This blog post is a true factual story. One that must be told. You might say that telling such truths about people are stooping to their level: I couldn't disagree more. There are just some actions that are so disturbing, it's not possible to stoop to such levels.
Stories and events must be told. If they never were, history would not have been written and we wouldn't be able to connect with others on such events and grow strong communities to combat them. I am a firm believer in Buddhist concepts such as compassion and forgiveness. I am here to tell you that you can practice compassion and forgiveness and still tell the truth about a situation to bring enlightenment to those dealing with it.
Here is my story:
I met my husband in 2010. I met his family including his 3 year-old son and they welcomed me with open arms. My husband's mother and stepfather were happy to involve me in all family parties and holidays and I was truly grateful.
I also met my stepson's mother, the baby mama. As usual and in most situations, there was and is lots of baggage. I tried to steer clear and respect boundaries.
Something that stuck out to me in my husband's family was the relationship between his 3 year-old and my husband's mother and stepfather (the 3 year-old's grandparents.) Their relationship was solid, strong, and loving; a presence I never had with my grandparents. It amazed me how involved and close my in-laws were with their grandson and it brightened my heart.
Until the Winter of 2011: My husband's baby-mama had an affair with his stepdad (with grandpa.) This is still happening today, July 7 2017. (Think about it for a moment and let it sink in. You might need to draw a diagram or a family tree.)
Have I stooped to that level by writing this? I think not.
The affects this disturbing behavior is having on now my 10 year old step-son are astronomical. Not to mention all the in between conniving and manipulative behavior these disturbing parties have had the audacity to demonstrate.
It's only getting worse and the affair has been a 6 year catastrophic event/relationship. If anyone can think of a reason this type of behavior would ever be morally okay, I would love to know. What I do know: all the people affected by this disgusting situation were not even close to deserving it.
Affairs are very common. Affairs that happen within a family unit are troubling, almost sinister.
All of you who are dealing with similar challenges are familiar with the list of horrible events that unfold:
This is not an exaggeration. Yes, there are always two sides to a story but...mommy and grandpa together. I don't think I would care to hear that side and I know the reasons would never suffice.
Maybe they are deeply in love, Romeo and Juliet style?
Nope. There are facts and details that prove this wrong and sadly it all affects the one person that shouldn't have to deal with such adult dramas: the child.
So Now What?
Nothing, absolutely nothing.
When people hear this they ask:
Have you tried explaining to the disturbing parties the affects on the kid?
Maybe explain how it's wrong?
Tell the court!
And on, and on.
None of it has worked and it's utterly pointless in the end. All of you dealing with similar situations know what I mean. When joint custody is involved, it's simply not your business or jurisdiction when the child is with the other "parent."
So the "now" is to continue to live with this hardship. Continue to maintain a true strong family unit, continue to learn from such behaviors and teach our children how hurtful and wrong they are, continue to build a foundation of trust and love, to combat this disturbance with love, to acknowledge it as a test against faith, compassion, love, and forgiveness, and above all to continue to bring to light that such events are plain and simply wrong and build stronger communities of people who are forced to deal with such evil.
This is a true story. I am living it and have been for 6 years and by the looks of things many more to come. If you are dealing with similar disturbing and intolerable human behavior, you are not alone. There are ways to find peace, there are ways to forgive, but it's okay to feel the frustration. Now that is a normal feeling and behavior.
Reach out to discuss and bring these events to light: email@example.com
Written by Sterp
Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/eye-shading-head-girl-eyebrows-716008/
Happy Summer! Here is my Bay Area summer guide to you:
1. Adventure Playground, Berkeley
I'll just start out with one of the best ones, Adventure Playground. Not too many people know about this and it's free. What makes it unique? Aside from it being listed as a top 10 playground in National Geographic, it allows children to safely hammer, saw, build, and paint the playground structures, all for FREE.
Learn more: http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/contentdisplay.aspx?id=8656
2. The Summer of Love Experience, San Francisco
Showcased at San Francisco's de Young Museum through the summer until August 20th, this exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic 60's counterculture. The exhibition is full of iconic poster, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes, and avant-garde films.
Check it out: https://deyoung.famsf.org/summer-love-art-fashion-and-rock-roll
3. Free Fireworks Show, San Jose
Don't miss out on the free fireworks show at Discovery Meadow Park in downtown San Jose on July 4th.
Learn more: http://www.sanjose.org/events/the-rotary-fireworks/
4. Free Movies on the Beach, Santa Cruz
Most of you have probably heard of this but you can't really beat this summer's line-up:
Back to the Future, Grease, Gremlins, Clueless, Shrek, Ghostbusters (the original), The Little Rascals, and The Princess Bride.
Check out the schedule: https://beachboardwalk.com/movies
5. Chili Cook Off, Palo Alto
Spend your Fourth of July in Palo Alto for their annual Chili Cook Off, running since 1985. It'll be a day of fun filled children activities, live music, tasty treats, and many vendors.
Check it out:
6. Beer Festival, Monterey
Looking to drink some craft beers this summer? You'll want to check out Monterey's Beer Festival featuring beer sampling and celebration of over 30 breweries.
Learn more: http://www.montereybeerfestival.com/
7. Menlo Summerfest, Menlo Park
Summer festivals is where it's at and that includes Menlo Park's Summerfest. Featuring 250 artists, live music, food & drinks, and a rock wall!
Check it out:
8. Orchids in the Park, San Francisco
I have to admit, I am an orchid lover and enthusiast. I own 3 orchids and have had them for 5 years! If you're also a fan, you don't want to miss SF's orchid summer show and sale.
Learn more: http://www.orchidsanfrancisco.org/orchid-events/orchids-in-the-park/
9. Evening with the Stars, Lick Observatory Mt. Hamilton
View the stars through the 36 inch Great Lick Refractor, a truly rare and exciting experience.
Check it out:
10. Murder Mystery Dinner, San Jose
Are you a major nerd? Well, I am so it excites me that the Hilton in downtown San Jose will have an interactive murder mystery dinner, all while you get to devour a four plated meal.
11. Half Price Happy Hollow, San Jose
All you San Jose natives understand the joy and fun of Happy Hollow. On July 18th, enjoy rides, entertainment, and animals for only half the price.
Check it out: http://www.sanjose.org/events/happier-half-price-happy-hollow-19796/
12. Blues Festival, Redwood City
To celebrate its 12th year, the Redwood City Blues Festival will be focusing on Women in Blues by presenting an exceptional line-up of female talent.
Learn more: http://www.sanjose.org/events/2017-redwood-city-blues-festival/
13. Obon Festival, San Jose & Mountain View
San Jose's Japantown celebrates the Obon festival, a two day event filled with game booths, food booths, taiko performances, and much more. There's an Obon festival in Mountain View as well so don't miss out.
San Jose: http://www.sanjose.org/events/2017-san-jose-obon/
Mountain View: http://www.sanjose.org/events/mountain-view-obon-festival/
14. Garlic Festival, Gilroy
I couldn't leave this one off the list plus you always end up seeing someone you know. Not only are there cooking competitions but you get your pick of sausages, calamari, scampi, garlic fries, ice cream, and more. Everyone will be there, even a special appearance by Giada de Laurentiis!
Check it out: http://gilroygarlicfestival.com/
15. Free Kids 'N Fun Festival, Cupertino
If you're like me, I am always trying to find fun outdoor events for my kids. The best part about this festival is it's a multi-cultural festival so a great opportunity to expose your children to the diverse cultures of the Bay Area.
Learn more: http://www.sanjose.org/events/kids-n-fun-festival/
16. Alameda County Fair, Pleasanton
Who doesn't love a county fair? Kids are FREE every Friday and there are so many events and activities, you are sure to have a great time. Everything from concerts, petting zoos, rides, a beer & wine garden, and tons of entertainment.
Check it out: http://annual.alamedacountyfair.com/
Maybe I'll see you this summer! What are your plans?
Written by Sterp
Is it possible for a high school runaway (with a mohawk might I add) to later become successful in Silicon Valley? Is it possible to obtain career success without a Masters degree or without being an engineer in Silicon Valley?
I am here to tell you that it is and you don't have to be an exceptional Being to get it done. You do need to have a strong backbone and be willing to dedicate money and time to get where you want to go. (And yes, I was a runaway punk rocker in high school with a mohawk.)
I am no expert on the "science of success." I can only speak from my experiences. I'm sure you might be wondering who the hell am I and what is it that I actually have as a career. I am a Corporate Marketing Manager and I'm finally getting paid well doing what I actually studied in college: Film & Digital Media. I didn't always have this career and it took immense dedication and challenging experiences before I got where I am today. I can also tell you that I know I'm successful in Silicon Valley (aka I'm very well compensated but it's not just about compensation as you'll see below.)
My list is in chronological order from when I got out of college up to today (a span of 7 years) so stick around until the end because there are some interesting, more mature points.
Here are the keys to career success that worked for me (success to me = generous compensation + love what you do):
1. Take the big name internship, even if it pays nothing
I know you've heard, "It's who you know, not what you know." I wish I could tell you otherwise, but it's a popular saying for a reason. I landed an internship right out of college at NASA through a gal I knew for many years. We were in a nonprofit organization together as teenagers. Years later, she worked at Singularity University, an innovative technological program at NASA, and told me about an internship in their media department. I was paid a very small stipend that was enough to pay for gas to and from work. You better believe I took it! Having NASA on my resume, even as an internship, has contributed to my career success. It's not about instantly making money early in your career, it's about building the steps to create a staircase to the top.
2. If it doesn't feel right, move on or risk becoming complacent
Early after my NASA internship ended, I landed a job in real estate. Why did I take this job? There was potential opportunity for video work and some updating of real estate brochures. It was a small step in the right direction however the couple I worked for micromanaged me and I knew that I couldn't thrive and excel in that environment. There is no need to stay in a situation that you know you cannot do your best in. So I moved on and landed a job in Apple retail, another big name.
3. Get the experience but eventually move on to bigger and better things
Anyone who has worked in Apple retail knows it's an unforgettable experience and one of the best. Some of the most critical interpersonal skills I have, I learned from Apple. I was a software trainer and had the opportunity to teach customers design and video skills. The problem was it was still just retail and in the end it was damn hard to move up so I moved on.
4. If you change career paths, you can still go back
After Apple I decided to switch it up to the extreme. I became a first grade teacher at a private school. Why would I do this? I needed to move out of retail but on a more interesting point, my stepson was attending this expensive private school and I wanted him to attend at no cost so I sacrificed a few years to allow him to get a great education for free. The pay was saddening and the work was exhausting. It didn't matter how much I out-shined others, I never received proper recognition. I was afraid to venture on because after 3 years of teaching I knew it didn't align with the rest of my experience or dreams. Remember, you are never stuck. It just takes some investment on your end.
5. Invest the time and money
While I was a teacher I decided to create a website through Weebly and start a blog (which you're reading right now.) I pay an annual fee to host my site. I invest time in producing content, including YouTube videos, for my blog. I also pay for a Lynda.com subscription, an online learning platform that contains courses on business, marketing, technology, and design. Rather than spending all my evenings going out and wasting money away, I sit at home and teach myself more design and marketing skills to add to my current experience. You need to invest some time and money.
6. Contract positions are a stepping stone
It's simple, contract positions pay well and help you to gain experience. They are a great stepping stone to land a permanent position elsewhere and to obtain a bump in pay. Just be careful not to get stuck in contract roles for years. Check out: How I raised my salary by 35k in only 9 months!
7. Remove yourself from toxic work environments
Yep, I said it. Out of all the places I worked, only one was truly horrifying and toxic. There are just some places where success is impossible because sadly there are some people whose goal is to tear everyone down. I was bullied at the YMCA of Silicon Valley and it was the first job in my life where I had to quit on the spot. The compensation package was stellar but it wasn't worth the mental and physical distress. Check out: Bully Bosses at the YMCA Sometimes you have to get out of a situation and leave it behind. Although I cannot use this on my resume I learned some valuable lessons.
8. It's some skill but mainly attitude
I guess I made the right choice leaving the YMCA because now I am making twice as much! Over my 7 years of career advancement I have learned that skills are important but people hire you for your attitude. I have always been positive, energetic, and passionate about work. People value this because they trust that you will deliver quality work.
It took me 7 years after graduating college to become successful and the great thing about it: I know this is just the beginning of my success, not the end.
What are your tips in becoming successful?
Written by Sterp
Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/board-chalk-blackboard-success-1097118/
1. What art medium do you primarily work in?
Well, I love to use wood if I'm doing a painting. Personally I find I do better painting on wood. My Father was the same way so I probably picked up on it from seeing his work.
I've tried canvas many times only to just not feel it as when I do work on wood.
One of my Passions when doing my art is that I love taking old cigar boxes and transforming them into different theme ideas, turning them into keepsake boxes. I also use dried out eggshells for texture. I like to use mosaic tiles as well for different kinds of art. "The sky is the limit" I have used watercolors but mainly I love using acrylic paint.
I also enjoy Plaster of Paris pastels.
2. When did you start creating and why?
I raised two children who are now all grown up and gone off pursuing their own dreams. I found myself with tons of free time. I felt a need to be creative to find some joy. I was "missing something." I truly believe it was my father (who was a wonderful self taught artist) that somehow from the Heavens guided me into finding my own art. I had never picked up a brush or art tool before. I was flying into the unknown if you will. One day I just decided to start out and ordered a paint set and a few paint brushes (nothing fancy.) Next thing you know, one summers day, I was painting my first painting. The joy I felt that first time was magical; satisfying. It really started to fill in the missing pieces and I've been hooked ever since. It relaxes me and takes me to another place. I suffer from anxiety and this has really helped. It's my happy place, my safe zone.
The two paintings above are also done by Leslie's father.
3. What does your art and artistic process mean to you?
It gives me a voice (I'm not one that likes to be the center of attention, I'm a bit of a loner at times.) Art lets me be spoken. I can let it show an extension of myself. My art also shows the mystic side of me. It means the world to me.
4. Who and what inspires you when creating art?
The Dream World inspires me a lot. With certain projects, I get taken off into a bit of a fantasy world (in comes the glitter and stardust!) But mostly, without a doubt, my father (who passed on in 2003) inspires me and has since day one of this wonderful ride of Art. He became an Artist at a very early age. I really feel somewhere in heaven he knew I needed this in my own life.
5. What keeps you motivated?
I feel Art never ever lets you down - It's always going to be there for you, it's always going to offer in one's own mind something new to create. You could go without creating for many months at times but you know that you can always pick up where you left off.
6. Who are some of your favorite artists?
Besides my father; I just love the artwork of Amy Browne and Jessica Galbreth.
7. Where can people find your work?
I've had to take a bit of a break in the last year in a half due to a foot injury and the passing, sadly, of my mother. I hope to get back at it more this year. Right now I have my online store which is on a break but here is the link:
Leslie was born and raised in Detroit and now she is based in Lincoln Park, Michigan.
Written by Sterp
Interested in being featured on my blog?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Amazing Creative Ones,
I am writing this letter to you because I would love to showcase your art on my blog with a short bio. I believe the world needs artistic collaboration and exposure to creativity. If you are interested in being showcased on my blog with an article all about you and your artwork, please fill out the form below! All artists who fill out the form will have a chance to have an article written about them.
After filling out the form you will be entered into a raffle to win a $25 Amazon gift card (you must be an artist and serious about showcasing your work.) Raffle entries end Tuesday May 30th.
In one week, I'll be 30 years old. By 30 many of us hope that we have our lives sorted out somewhat but in Silicon Valley that can seem impossible in face of the brutal competitive job frontier that formed over the last 20 years.
I even did it “right.” I attended a 4 year university straight out of high school and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree. Most of the good paying jobs out there require this as a minimum aside from their laundry list of high tech skills and pound on the years of impossible experience they require and, well, you feel like an utter failure by 30.
In Silicon Valley, if you haven’t had your own start-up, if you don’t sit on a Board of Directors, and if you don’t have multiple degrees (preferably a B.S. degree, no pun intended) then you pretty much have nothing…or do you?
Let me start by saying: I am a normal girl. I wasn’t born into a wealthy family and like many alumni out there, I struggle to pay off the load of debt I owe for the higher education I was required to get to even consider having a nice salary. I grew up in East Side San Jose and my parents were hard workers who earned every cent they received. They grew up in an era when purchasing a home in Silicon Valley was common and achievable. I am not special. I don’t have a startup company in my name and I do not have an engineering degree. So how did I figure out a way to move up in my career and increase my salary? I promise you it is possible and it isn’t magic. You are never stuck in a career situation. It takes hard work, patience, failures, and diligence but it can happen.
In April 2016 I was teaching at a private school. It is no secret that teaching is one of the most underpaid professions out there although it’s the most necessary profession next to doctors and nurses. Once my daughter was born it was impossible for me to survive off a teaching salary. Unfortunately there was no way to move up quickly in that environment and raises were a joke. So I found a new job.
When you find a new job there should always be a salary increase. If there isn’t then you should keep looking. My salary went up a modest amount. This new job was a temporary position so there was no commitment needed on either side. I worked there and began looking for a permanent position when the contract was approaching its end.
In August 2016 I started a permanent position and my salary went up again. Are you noticing a pattern? Now, sure this can be risky and plenty of people stay at a job for 10 years and wait patiently for their pay raise but that is not the way to quickly increase your salary. My aunt has always told me: “You never owe an employer anything. They are not committed to you and you never have to be committed to them.”
Shortly after landing this full-time permanent role, someone reached out to me about a new position that I considered my ultimate “dream job.” I took it and guess what…my salary went up again. Needless to say the dream job didn’t work out because it was an environment immersed with manipulation and bullying. I was the victim of bullying and had to quit on the spot to ensure my mental health was safe. A link to the full story on my bullying experience is at the end of this post.
Fortunately with all my work experience and skills I landed a new job right away. Throughout this experience my salary went up 35K in just 9 months. The simple answer: switch jobs frequently but just know that employers will ask you why you had short time periods at each job so be prepared to give them legitimate reasons.
I did and it worked!
Read about my bullying experience at the YMCA:
Written by Sterp
What if you quit your day job to pursue your passion, one that truly feeds your soul with Life?
Most of us settle on a traditional job that ensures a large amount of stability. Most of us strive to control our lives in every aspect and when something unexpected happens we scramble to make sense of it and get it back under control. Traditional jobs make us feel like we have our Life under control.
There are some people though, who choose to embrace the impermanence that Life offers and who laugh in the face of tradition and structure to accomplish what the rest of us are afraid of: making your passion into your career.
I had the pleasure of working with Michael "MytyMyke" Nguyen when he was still in a traditional work environment. I remember him mentioning his DJing gigs at work and like most people I thought it was just a hobby of his. I remember thinking how difficult it would be to pursue such a hobby as a career.
I found a new job elsewhere and fell out of touch with Mike. Then something interesting started to happen. I began seeing Mike's DJ name "MytyMyke" everywhere. He was playing all over the Bay Area. He quit traditional work and began DJing full-time.
He was living his dream. He did it.
Here is MytyMyke's inspirational story on how he made his passion into a career:
1. Did you always want to DJ? When did you develop this dream?
I've always wanted to DJ ever since I first heard DJs scratching on the radio and on CDs. I was first introduced to the culture in middle school.
2. Did any event in your life influence your decision to pursue DJing as a career?
I've always wanted to pursue DJing as a career. However - I never really thought of when I'd like to take that plunge. When I was laid-off from my day job, I decided the time was now.
3. Was there anyone in particular who supported your dream? A mentor?
My friend Cruz supported my dream. He would be someone I would talk about music with in between editing my promo videos. He too wanted to pursue music so we shared a common vision.
4. Describe the events leading up to you leaving your normal 9 to 5 job to pursue your dream.
I was working for a tech company in Sunnyvale up to December 2015. I really wanted to join the marketing team because that's what I believed I excelled in. I was called in one day and said they wouldn't be needing my services anymore. I packed up and the rest is history.
5. What are some challenges you have faced?
Some challenges I've faced is keeping busy with the bookings. Now that I'm full-time I want to maximize my time as much as possible.
6. How do you overcome those challenges?
I try and work on overcoming these challenges everyday but looking at other avenues where I can provide music. Nightclubs and bars aren't the only places where I can get paid to play music.
7. Did you get any criticism when quitting your traditional job to begin your career in DJing?
Yes, I definitely got criticism when they found out I was pursuing DJing full-time. Some people would say to get a real "job". What they do mean is to get a traditional one. However, who wants to work a job that they have no passion for; to build someone else's dream instead of yours? I chose to do something that makes me happy.
8. How did you come up with your DJ name?
Actually my 8th grade teacher who also was a DJ helped come up with my DJ name. We were just hanging out after school one day talking shop about DJing and music when he suddenly bursted out "you should be Mighty Mike". After that, the name just stuck.
9. Describe an unforgettable experience you have had as a DJ.
One unforgettable experience would be when I won the Electric Bounce House DJ Contest in 2014. It allowed me to open up at the SAP center in downtown San Jose for some of the biggest DJs in the world. I'll never forget the time I got to play on such a big sound system.
10. What keeps you motivated each day?
My love for the music and upcoming events keep me motivated each day. There's always so much good music out that I want to play it out. I also watch a lot of highly skilled DJs on youtube and Facebook for inspiration.
11. What's your advice to others who have big dreams but are afraid to make the leap?
No risk no reward. Go out while you're young and pursue that thing that makes you happy. Fears can be overcome. Do it now or regret it later.
12. How many spots have you DJed?
I honestly don't know how many spots I've DJed at. Hundreds of events throughout my 10+ years of DJing has brought me out as far as Playa del Carmen in Mexico.
13. What are some of your favorite venues to DJ?
One of my favorite venues to DJ at in the south bay would be Los Gatos Bar and Grill. The crowd always brings it with the energy. As for San Francisco, Temple Nightclub definitely was an unforgettable experience. I had the pleasure of playing the main room twice.
MytyMyke said it best: No risk no reward. Go out while you're young and pursue that thing that makes you happy.
My Mantra: Strive to be the best me and improve a little every day. Be compassionate, especially to those who may not practice it. Continue to learn and love. Take a moment multiple times each day to breathe. Forgive myself and forgive others. Read books. Live what I preach. Accept others. And above all, laugh every single day.