Hailed as the best DJ in America, Claude VonStroke regularly performs for five to ten thousand people and even more.
He shares his origin story, how his truly genius and original plan to learn from the best DJs made him America’s #1 DJ and how worked for 15 long years to make his dreams come true.
“I’m trying to tell you that going after the golden goose isn’t always the best path to success… only a few can get lucky so we don’t even try to go that route. We just try to be legit. We just try to be who we are, and because we do that, it works.“ – Claude VonStroke
Claude’s Early Foray into Music
In an industry that celebrates mostly teenage geniuses, Claude stands out as someone who did gain music production until he was about 32. He grew up in a realm where a youngster could not just find anything on the Internet. Nobody in the neighborhood played the music he wanted to create so he had to forge an unusual path.
“There’s no generational group of artists, every six years flipping over, that’s showing another group of younger people that, ‘Oh, you can be a huge techno DJ from Milwaukee.’” – Claude VonStroke
Cleveland-born, Claude’s musical influences evolved after moving to Detroit. From listening to Uncle Vic playing Journey in Cleveland, he went on and began listening to The Electrifying Mojo’s playlist of Prince and Run-DMC. As the kind of kid who was obsessed with listening to the radio every night, these artists shaped his music taste.
Fifteen Years in the Making
Claude didn’t always want to make music. In the past, he also wanted to be a film director. He took a solid fifteen years to realize that he “sucked” at the project and people management aspect of filmmaking.
“The path is just totally different. It’s like you need to be a real manager of personalities to be a great filmmaker. But to be a musician, you just kinda have to learn to manage yourself.” – Claude VonStroke
Music remained in the closet for years.
Claude knew he was good at it but he didn’t want to admit it and didn’t see that DJing could be a job. He didn’t start going to underground raves until he was 23.
A Genius Plan to Learn
To overcome the fact that he did not know anybody in the music industry, Claude put to use his filmmaking talent. He decided to make a documentary about some techno music and every music DJ who came to San Francisco after moving from Detroit.
In a fascinating turn of events, his inability to license songs forced him to make music that sounded like his interviewee’s. By the end of it, he not only got every single piece of information about these DJs. He learned to make the songs that they made, and the rest is history.
“My first record was big because I’ve been bottled up for 20 years waiting to release a huge record.” – Claude VonStroke
To hear more about Claude’s story of creativity, entrepreneurship and massive risk-taking, download and listen to the episode.
Barclay Crenshaw (a.k.a. Claude VonStroke)
- DJ Magazine says he is the best DJ In America
- Billboard Magazine says his label, Dirty Bird is one of the top 5 Independence Dance Labels
- Mix Magazine named Dirty Bird the label of the decade
- He’s also got a critically acclaimed Radio Show and podcast called “The Birdhouse”
In this day and age of music cross-pollination, Claude VonStroke sits at the forefront of all that is good, proper and most importantly, fun.
VonStroke is just as relaxed in his home studio building beats as he is dropping massive underground records in a room filled by thousands.
DJ-wise, his relentless touring of every major city, festival and basement after-party around the world has only enriched his unique perspective on music.
As the owner of the record label, DIRTYBIRD, Claude also built an impeccable A&R roster signing acts like Justin Martin, Julio Bashmore, Catz n Dogz, Riva Starr, Tim Green, Breach, Eats Everything, Shadow Child and Shiba San, well before they broke out of their hometown scenes. (And even naming a few of these artists.)
Today, DIRTYBIRD continues to surprise and innovate in the underground dance scene, releasing an enigmatic combination of house, funk, dirty-bass and electronica.
Sonically, VonStroke has released three original artist albums, a remix album and several high profile mix and remix compilations.
Highlights include working with and on records for Bootsy Collins, Rihanna, Disclosure and Green Velvet as well as a few number #1 & #2 hits on Beatport.
Most importantly, VonStroke has kept it original, fun and funky.
A lot of his success can be attributed to a good attitude. Claude does not scowl and look mean while he DJs.
He does not pretend to know everything and he truly loves his fans.
He is grateful to be curating, creating and performing music for a living and he knows that the reason people go to parties is to shake their booty and have fun.
Catch him play at numerous festivals, clubs or even better at his legendary DIRTYBIRD BBQ series of outdoor events.
We hope you enjoyed Claude VonStroke on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
Dushka Zapata joins us for another fun and life-affirming conversation. Dushka and Christopher talk about the origins of her soon-to-be-released book, how recounting something differently is valid, and how stories differ from facts.
Recounting Things Uniquely
Dushka is very aware of her unique thought process that translates into her writing. Oftentimes, her recollection of shared experiences differs from that of other people.
She finds this fascinating. Regardless of what other people say, these instances remind her that she has the license to say things in a different way in order to tell a story. She knows it is not some conscious effort but her recounting of things as exactly as she can.
“I’ve known for a long time that I look at things differently than other people. I think that’s what makes me worth reading—because it’s less about what happened but more of my perspective about it.” – Dushka Zapata
Different is Valid
She will soon be releasing a book about stories from her childhood and her family. She shared some of these stories to her siblings and as expected, they were surprised with the way she saw things. And for such a book, what title can be more fitting other than, This is How I Remember It?
Her book not only celebrates the uniqueness of each individual’s perspective but also nullifies the notion that one point of view is superior to another. The memory of a loved one’s passing is generally painful, but for some people like Dushka, it can also be beautiful.
“I feel really strongly about the way I remember things. It matters to me about how other people claim that I’m not recounting something right… I think that’s a gift. I’m so happy that the way I remember things is like that.” – Dushka Zapata
A Thin Line Between Facts and Stories
Dushka puts simply the difference between facts and stories through an answer to a Quora question. We often make assumptions about people’s behaviors that seem out of the ordinary. And these assumptions, those add-ons, are usually the stories that embellish facts.
Failure to see the difference between the two results in struggles for most people.
“It’s a wonder we understand each other at all because we look at the world through our assumptions and our insecurities, but I also think that we look at the world through a lot of things that never actually take place.” – Dushka Zapata
To hear more about Dushka’s powerful answers to Quora questions, her deeper take on stories and facts, download and listen to the episode.
Dushka Zapata is one of the most prolific and popular writers working today.
On question and answer site Quora her work has been viewed over 135 million times.
She’s the author of eight best-selling books.
Dushka has over 20 years of experience as a senior communications executive in Silicon Valley.
When she’s not writing, she serves as a communications executive at tech juggernaut Zendesk.
- Is there an age where it no longer makes any sense to take ballet lessons?
- My boyfriend doesn’t text me first. I have to text him first, and after that, he often doesn’t text me back. Why?
We hope you enjoyed Dushka Zapata on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
A powerful, researched-based look at happiness with Professor Scott Galloway from NYU. Professor Galloway is one of the most respected voices on the Internet today. He shares how the happiness curve dips in our 20s and 30s, the many “algorithms to achieving a happy life” and why “follow your passion” is the worst advice ever.
The Arc of Happiness
According to Professor Galloway, the arc of happiness starts off at a peak from the age of 0 to 22, when there’s not a lot of responsibility to deal with. Around 25, shit finally gets real. Everything we have been told is simply not going to happen and handed to us on a silver platter.
By the time we’re in our late 20s and 30s, we come to grips with the fact that as a species, we are competitive. We vie for the title of most successful, and when we fail at that, disappointments come in one after the other. At 35-45 years old, we reach the bottom of the smile, where we slowly work our way up once again to a more rewarding life.
“The happiest people in the world are probably the people who shouldn’t be, and that is, [the] seniors.” – Professor Scott Galloway
Algorithms and Equations to Happiness
Through his research, Professor Galloway found about 10 or 12 algorithms and equations directly correlated to someone’s happiness. A lot of factors contribute to happiness—financial, geographical and even demographic.
For instance, the difference between being poor and being financially secure is enormous in terms of contribution to one’s happiness. After all, money can buy you happiness up to a certain point. Where you choose to settle can also affect your chances at success and opportunities for growth, especially as a young person.
“You wanna get to where the snow and the waves are great such that you have the greatest opportunity to be good at what you do.” – Professor Scott Galloway
Why “Follow Your Passion” is Bad Advice
We have heard it time and again. Any speaker would typically sign off with doing what you love when they themselves achieved financial success through, say, iron ore smelting. And the notion that they are actually passionate about such a thing is utter bullshit.
Professor Galloway says that we are most passionate about finding what we are good at and becoming great at it. Only then can we become one step closer to happiness.
“The financial and psychological and emotional accouterments that come with being great at something will make you passionate around whatever it is.” – Professor Scott Galloway
To hear from Professor Galloway about the state of young men in America today and why love is ultimately the key to being happy, download and listen to the episode.
Scott Galloway is a Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern School of Business where he teaches Brand Strategy and Digital Marketing to second-year MBA students. He is the author of the Digital IQ Index ®, a global ranking of prestige brands’ digital competence.
In 2012, Professor Galloway was named “One of the World’s 50 Best Business School Professors” (Poets & Quants).
Professor Galloway is also the founder of several firms including:
- L2, a subscription business intelligence firm serving prestige brands;
- Red Envelope, an e-commerce firm (2007, $100mm revs.); and
- Prophet, a global brand strategy consultancy with 250+ professionals
Professor Galloway was elected to the World Economic Forum’s “Global Leaders of Tomorrow,” which recognizes 100 individuals under the age of 40 “whose accomplishments have had impact on a global level.” Professor Galloway has served on the board of directors of Eddie Bauer (Nasdaq: EBHI), The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), Gateway Computer, and Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
He received a BA from UCLA and an MBA from UC Berkeley.
We hope you enjoyed Professor Scott Galloway on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
On today’s special episode, Christopher answers a question from a young woman who wants to know whether she should start a business. He touches on two points: the effect of formal education on entrepreneurial success and the distinction between missionaries and mercenaries.
Entrepreneurship is Not for Everybody
Christopher received an email from a 20-year-old woman thinking about leaving school to starting a business. Perhaps inspired by his own story, she sought out his help.
With very few options after getting thrown out of school at 18, Christopher started a business. Entrepreneurship was a way out of a life of struggle for him. However, even a huge proponent of entrepreneurship like Christopher thinks it is not the answer for everybody.
“It’s an interesting thing that for many entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship is the only root that we have.” – Christopher Lochhead
Education Remains Valid for Most
The first thing that you should ask yourself when you consider quitting school to start a business is whether you are really ready. True, a lot has been said about success after dropping out and how college is slowly dying.
But according to the Kauffman Foundation, adults without formal education are much less likely to be entrepreneurs than their educated counterparts. Research also shows that the more educated you are, the more you are going to make. While the media portrays lots of dropout-turned-rockstar tales, the truth is that most entrepreneurs get some education.
“This is coming from a guy who didn’t go to school. but I think you need to think twice before dropping out because for most people, school pays off.” – Christopher Lochhead
Are You on a Mission?
Another question to ask: are you a missionary or a mercenary? Christopher’s buddy Eddie Yoon makes this very important distinction. If you are the latter, then you are going to tap out when it gets hard.
There will be massive losery along the way and the disappointments will be huge. Things that will make you want to quit will happen on a fairly regular basis. Being mission-driven, like what most top VCs dub successful entrepreneurs, is the way to charge forward.
“Your commitment to the mission is what will get you through the hard parts. And there will be hard parts and the hard parts will be way worse than anybody ever expressed to you.” – Christopher Lochhead
To hear more about Christopher’s take on whether you should start a business, download and listen to the episode. Got a question for Christopher? Email him at email@example.com.
On this episode, we have a podcaster who is loved by entrepreneurs Ever Gonzalez.
Ever and Christopher had a fun and informative conversation about designing business that serves your life, not the other way around, and what he’s learned in talking to over 400 success entrepreneurs on his popular podcast.
“I would much rather take it a little bit easier and have the things that are important to me my family, freedom, time than to hustle, hustle, hustle and have all the money in the world for what reason.” – Ever Gonzalez
Outlier On Air
Ever had an amazing journey in his life, a great career, and he a successful run as an entrepreneur running a freight management company all starting his podcasting in December 2013.
At first, it was strictly for entrepreneurs, but halfway thru it, he became curious with other authors and people that he wanted to know more. He’s enjoyed talking about business and people and now, it has over 422 episodes.
A lot of people today wants to be famous and they are losing money trying to follow this dream because they were hustling. As we get older, we have to step back, think and slow things down in order to get good results.
Ever said that he’s living a life that he can control, a life that provides him freedom, still makes some money and working on projects that he’s passionate about.
“Hustle is a no shit, Sherlock. You can go back and look at any book, of what anybody who’s ever been successful, it takes hard work.” – Christopher Lochhead
Finding the Right Pace
Most people don’t know how to value time and being in balanced is something that is hard to do especially working in entrepreneurial businesses.
In reality, what we shared with younger entrepreneurs is that there will be plenty of time and they will be less effective, if they burn themselves out.
Remember the point of all of this work is to deign a legendary life, not kill yourself “hustling”
According to Ever, he had seen the ups and downs, but it’s the mental health that scares him.
In a lot of ways, success is about learning to manage you own psyche.
To hear more about Ever a podcaster who is loved by entrepreneurs, download and listen to this episode.
Ever Gonzalez is an entrepreneur, CEO, a top podcaster and the Founder of OutlierHQ, a media and events company that provides resources to help entrepreneurs start, grow, and scale their businesses. He is also the host of Outlier On Air, a weekly podcast that interviews Founders, Disrupters, and Mavens.
We hope you enjoyed Ever Gonzalez on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
“Every rockstar business needs a punk.” – Tania Katan
On this episode, the incredible Tania Katan has a riveting conversation with Christopher about how to put the spark of joy back into work and life, how she overcame breast cancer and how it shaped her life.
Tania is a powerful example of someone who “used her different” to make her place in the world.
She shares the captivating story of how she went from acting, to working in enterprise technology, to becoming an advocate for women in tech, to becoming a successful author and more.
Tania is famous for starting the empowerment campaign #ItWasNeverADress.
“We don’t need to be in a job or a field that is uniquely creative in order to be uniquely creative within the work we do.” – Tania Katan
Authoring Bestseller “Creative Trespassing”
Tania wrote the book as a dialogue and a monologue.
This reflects the way she holds her book tours and keynote speeches. She lets her audience talk and give her feedback while she listens to them.
Real conversations inspire her.
When she went to record the audiobook, she brought a photograph of her friends, family and other people who inspire her to the studio. This allowed her to feel that she was sharing her stories with them.
Unpacking the Dedication
Tania says that she was born as an outsider.
She wrote about the reality of her life and how she found a way to use “outsiderness” or “misfitness” to create a value for both companies and the people around her.
Her being different is how she makes a difference.
“Embracing the fact that we are misfits and we are flawed allows us to actually take risks and know that the outcome is going to be better than ‘okay’.” – Tania Katan
We Teach When We Most Need to Learn
At the age of 21, her breast was removed to save her life.
Following this event, she felt less—“other”—until she came to a realization when she became an adult.
Nobody is perfect.
Being an outsider can be painful for some people, and this is the epitome of irony. Every human being goes through the same dilemma and we all can feel uncomfortable and scared of becoming misfits.
This is where Tania’s need and desire to speak for them came from—the need to learn herself.
“To be perfect is like to be invisible.” – Tania Katan
By finding a way to harness her different, Tania is the epitome of “why fit in, when you can stand out”.
To hear more about how Tania went from theater to tech industry and how she thinks every rockstar business needs a punk, download and listen to this episode.
Tania Katan is an inspirational speaker, creative consultant and co-creator of the #ItWasNeverADress campaign. She is also the best-selling author of the book, Creative Trespassing.
She has been a featured speaker at CiscoLive!, S.H.E. Summit, Business of Software, Expedia, Uber, Etsy, Humana, Google, Amazon, Comedy Central Stage, TEDx, and more.
We hope you enjoyed Tania Katan on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
It’s time to get some deeper insights from our guest, we have Isaac Morehouse. In this episode, Isaac and Christopher had a wonderful conversation on how to start or restart your career. They also talked about how to discover the right role for yourself, how to build the right skills to fulfill those roles and how to get the job of your dreams.
Crash Your Career
This is the most condensed version that Isaac came up with to get across the same mindset in a way of thinking about career launch. He is very passionate about helping young people so they don’t get left behind.
The way he processes his ideas is by talking and writing about them that helps him to put his visions of category designs into words.
“If I explain it, then maybe there’s a big chance that I can build it.” – Isaac Morehouse
This is the first step that we need to focus on in order to have a legendary start. According to Isaac, they are focused on 3 things – discover some roles, build a profile and tailor a pitch.
If you can do all those 3 things, it will get a lot easier and you can have an amazing career launch.
“Paper credentials aren’t going to launch your career, you’ve got to be your own credential” – Isaac Morehouse
Unpacking the 3 Things
He compares the idea of, what do you want to be when you grow up to a funnel. Every step in your life, you should be moving in that funnel and people are being trapped because of this.
The perfect fit for you is probably something that doesn’t exist yet, something that you have never heard of or hasn’t been invented yet. The way to get to it is to start experimenting as you will learn by doing it.
“The only way to know what is a really good fit is to try anything that is not really a bad fit.” – Isaac Morehouse
To hear more about Isaac Morehouse, founder and CEO of Crash, download and listen to this episode.
Isaac Morehouse is the founder and CEO of Crash, the career launch platform, and the founder of Praxis, a startup apprenticeship program. He is the author of the wonderful new book called Crash Your Career. Isaac’s business was focused primarily not exclusively on younger people in helping them get an amazing start to their career.
Some of his blogs are:
• The Delicate Art of Listening but not Listening
• Life By Subscription
• Music as Programming
We hope you enjoyed Isaac Morehouse on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
On this episode, we get to hang out with the incredible Dan Casetta. Christopher had a fascinating conversation with Dan about how to build a legendary culture, powerful ideas in recruiting and training, how to lead a young sales teen, how to change limes while saving dimes and a ton more!
Dan ran the Western part of the Cutco’s sphere that touches the Pacific Ocean with 5,000 salespeople in it. What he loves about this is they get to impact a lot of young people at the time that are critical in their lives.
They get to learn a whole lot of life skills, knowledge, habits and ways of thinking that make a difference for them.
“Once you invest time and energy, help them develop and do well, help shape their attitude about the experiences that they have, so that they end up succeeding.” Dan Casetta
Recruitment and Training
They usually start with the people they know, as in, referrals. It is easier for them to train and develop those people that have been personally recommended. The training is critical and the method of recruiting precedes the training as well.
According to Dan, once the summer is over and school starts, they continue to work with these young people to support their needs. They also have what they call Leadership Academy, where the trainees continue to gain more skills and knowledge that will help them to lead the team.
“We judge people based on attitude, not necessarily based on what part of the town they live in or their background.” – Dan Casetta
At a very young age, Dan was exposed to the concept of personal development. As he grew up in the business, a large part of the training and development that he did is to help people with their lives.
They teach topics and ideas that are just not related to selling Cutco, but also develop each person in his organization as humans, as people. He created this environment of personal growth in his organization and became successful in this kind of field.
“Help people with their lives, not just their jobs.” – Dan Casetta
To hear more about Dan, a sales leader and business and life coach, download and listen to this episode.
Dan Casetta is a record-setting sales manager, business & life coach, national speaker, culture shaping executive and a longtime member of the Cutco. He is also one of the best-selling authors of the book, Success Starts Today with the famous Jack Canfield, author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series.
Some of his blogs are:
• Your Words Matter
• The Magic Secret (Part 1 and 2)
• Decision-Making: Insights to Help You Make Better Choices
• How Much Does It Cost?
• Why Me?
We hope you enjoyed Dan Casetta on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
Today, one of the best-selling self-help authors of all time, Hal Elrold sits with us. We unpack his brand new book, The Miracle Equation and talk about his life-changing story after beating cancer. Listen and believe that miracles do happen.
Hal created this equation 6 years prior to the Miracle Morning as a concept that he has been practicing and teaching in a company that he worked for. This is the formula that he used to beat cancer.
Anything is possible, but possible is not enough to get us up in the morning. His unwavering faith and extraordinary effort are his biggest decisions that helped him achieve his goal.
“The miracle equation is not a one-time decision to achieve a one-time goal. It’s a fundamental way of living, a way of bringing fate. It is the fundamental lens to which you approach all of your life’s challenges and all of your opportunities, goals and dreams.” – Hal Elrod
Possible to Probable
The voice of self-doubt and fear is what overrides us. According to Hal, we have to replace fear with faith. Stepping out on faith is how he closed the gap and by reinforcing that which he called the “Miracle Mantra”.
“You don’t have to believe you can achieve the goal in order to keep moving forward and ensure you achieve the goal.” – Hal Elrod
Developing the quality and characteristics of a person is what we need to focus on. For as long as there’s effort and by maintaining unwavering faith, regardless of what the result is, we can achieve anything.
This is not a one-time decision. It is a fundamental way of approaching our life in every challenge we encounter and in every goal that we set.
“The highest benefit that you can get from setting and pursuing a goal is not to hit the goal. It is who you become on the journey toward the goal by giving it everything you have no matter what.” – Hal Elrod
To hear more about Hal, one of the best-selling self-help authors of all time, download and listen to this episode.
Hal Elrod is one of the highest keynote speakers in America, a top podcaster, and creator of one of the fastest growing and most engaged online communities in existence. He is also one of the most inspiring authors of one of the highest rated, best-selling books in the world, The Miracle Morning.
Some of his works are:
• Achieve Your Goals podcast
• Best Year Ever Blueprint
• (10 books) of The Miracle Morning book series
We hope you enjoyed Hal Elrod on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!