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The COVID-19 lockdown proved to be difficult for so many, taking its toll both emotionally and financially. For some, there was a silver lining, and new business ventures emerged as entrepreneurs reinvented themselves utilizing their unique set of skills.
Adamm Miguest is one of those people. During the pandemic, he grabbed his camera and turned his quarantine startup into a million-dollar digital empire his first year in business.
Adamm joins Motivational Mondays this week to share some of his secrets to success and to give savvy advice on following your ambitions with integrity.
DARE TO DREAM AND BELIEVE IN YOUR ABILITY
As founder of Rapid Launch Media, Adamm Miguest's journey has been an impressive one, but it's also a story we can all learn from when it comes to following our passions.
In his international studies and linguistics courses at the University of Illinois, Adamm was already living his dreams. As a young kid, he had developed an early passion for languages and set a goal to learn as many as possible. So far, he's at nine and counting.
Explaining a bit of his backstory, Adamm shares, "Ever since I was five, I started taking new languages in class, and I began meeting people from different backgrounds and learning as much as possible. So that led me to my major — international studies in linguistics."
Adamm soon realized that a career at the State Department or the CIA would be a potential career that would allow him to see the world and experience various cultures. Upon completing his college degree, he took the foreign service officer test. Reportedly only 25% of people pass on the first try. Adamm was among them.
As he advanced in the application process to work for both the CIA and State Department, Adamm realized the rigid military vibe of both offices was not what he wanted after all. Then, with his childhood dream within reach, he pulled back and decided not to go forward. Adamm notes, "It's crazy to spend your whole life working towards a goal and... within the span of a couple of weeks, you realize it's not for you. And you know, I've always been artistic, and I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur."
With that moment of clarity, Adamm started from scratch, asking himself what he really wanted to do. From that point on, he decided to go full-steam ahead toward a career that would involve his artistic eye, passion for photography, love of entertainment, and what he saw as the future — social media.
PAYING ATTENTION TO TRENDS CAN BE PROFITABLE
Adamm set out to put his passion for photography to use in the social media space. He solicited opportunities to shoot images with established social media stars and models, and his work began to positively impact influencer branding.
Having identified a growing trend of musicians turning to TikTok to promote their songs, Adamm recognized some dots needed to be connected. As he explained, "I had a ton of musicians who wanted to do photography with me... And what I realized is that TikTok was becoming the primary way to push music."
Adamm refers to this realization as a "light bulb" moment in which he saw an opportunity. His relationships with record labels and artists prepared him to be a broker of sorts, the go-between to make marketing deals happen. Like many great entrepreneurs, he had an idea to solve a problem. He explained that record labels don't trust influencers to get the job done when they say they will. And influencers don't really trust random people DM-ing them saying, "Do a bunch of work for me, and then we'll pay you later." So, that is how Rapid Launch Media was born.
Adamm's willingness to be flexible and pivot from his original plan allowed him to pull away from just photography and evolve to realize a dream he foresaw, creating a company that bridged the gap between artists, creators, and brands. He adds, "And from that pivot, I started connecting record labels and brands with the influencers that I had, and I realized I could make money on every single transaction that I did."
Adjusting our goals and being flexible makes all the difference in accomplishing our ambitions.
FORCE YOURSELF TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE
Adamm clarifies that his success story, though inspirational, did not happen without him taking risks and putting himself in situations of uncertainty. He shares, "I think you really have to force yourself to be uncomfortable, to learn how to be outgoing. So I think that is my number one thing, one of my best qualities. I'm very outgoing, and I love learning about people from different backgrounds. Whether it's like an ethnic background with a different culture or a different business background, I really enjoy learning about that stuff."
One of the most common sentiments from Motivational Mondays guests is that there is no guarantee that we will be successful in reaching our goals. But we're destined to fail if we don't at least try — and many don't try for fear of failure.
Adamm suggests that one way to overcome that fear is being confident in knowing what value you bring to others. Using a photography example, he says, "A lot of new photographers' work isn't there yet, but they'll start reaching out to photographers when they've only been shooting for a couple of months, and their work is trash. I didn't reach out to any big people at first because I didn't feel like my work was there."
Once Adamm was competent in his skills as a photographer, he approached potential clients and partners with confidence, and his work spoke for itself. It's like the old adage says: you can't just talk the talk; you also have to walk the walk.
IT'S NEVER TOO EARLY TO CHASE YOUR DREAMS
In a message of optimism for everyone, Adamm advises it's never too late to figure out what you want to do. Using his journey as proof, he encourages, "When I was young, even in preschool, I realized I love to learn languages. I loved to travel and do things with different cultures. So it was at that moment I started to work towards being in the CIA and work towards being in the state department. Everything from that point was a small step towards getting my goal, and it got me where I want to be."
In what Adamm deems to be his "best advice," he advises anyone with a dream to just start and go for it. You may not get exactly where you want to be at first, but you'll learn things and make potential connections along the way.
Listen to our exclusive members-only bonus episode to learn more about the power of being mentally motivated and condensing your goals into smaller timelines.