Lucid Dreamers: Zack Mathis, Azzip Pizza & Listening More

This post is sponsored by Lucid Coffee Bar, a hidden gem in downtown Newburgh. TheLucid's Dreamers campaign celebrates those in the community that have big dreams and inspire others by telling their unique stories and experiences. 

I am a coffee connoisseur, and in my humble opinion Lucid reps out the best Americano in town. Stop by when you get the chance and give Lucid a try, I promise you won't be disappointed. They are located at 224 West Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630.

Cole Schafer Blog

One of my dearest friends and greatest role models has always reminded me of the Pink Panther -- exceptionally trendy, silent, curious and wise beyond his years. He also has a subtle resemblance to the beloved cat detective, but that is neither here nor there. 

Zack Mathis is the quiet we long for in this noisy, ever-bustling world. He doesn’t say much, but when he says something it carries weight. Weight that carves out a space in your memory box. Weight that instills wisdom. Weight that drives an individual to move.

Zack Mathis is a silent champion.

The two of us crossed paths for the first time while preparing for an international marketing case study competition. We grew close quickly as we found ourselves deep in the heart of Edmonton Alberta, Canada taking on both Canadian and American university teams. During our 4 day stay we ate a plethora of fries smothered in brown gravy topped with cheese curd -- a delicious Canadian concoction referred to as Poutine. We studied relentlessly for 48 hours whilst consuming copious amounts of coffee, preparing for our upcoming presentations. We froze to death in -10 degree weather. We even fit in some time to find ourselves at a bizarre western EDM club at 3 a.m. after discovering a shared interest in a well-made Gin and Tonic.  

By the grace of God and Zack’s marketing brilliance, we won the competition. But it was during this trip that Zack taught me something far more valuable, the importance of listening. At times he lead our team without ever saying a word, by simply listening until he discovered an answer. When the two of us would converse, he would listen to every detail of every subject I discussed -- only speaking when he felt he had value to add. At first I found it peculiar, but over time I learned that his ability to listen was what made him great at building friendships, leading teams and crafting exceptional marketing strategies.

Today, Zack works as the Marketing Director at Azzip Pizza. A startup fast-casual pizzeria that is spreading like wildfire. Zack’s keen ability to listen has been instrumental in its growth and I foresee it being increasingly more valuable as Azzip continues to expand.

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“Transitioning into the role as Director of Marketing at Azzip was challenging. No one had held the role before me, so I had a lot of questions I had to answer on my own -- How much social media content is the right amount? What is making us a beloved brand?

It has been a very hands-on learning experience -- both exciting and rewarding. I started working here in college and moved my way up from team member to shift manager to Director of Marketing.

In my position, listening is my greatest asset. Listening to our customers allows me to quickly jump into other people’s perspective. It allows me to be empathetic. In turn allowing me to help Azzip better serve our customers.

We live in a world where there this is so much noise all the time. Everyone is always talking, but hardly anyone ever takes the time to listen. I see this a lot in small talk. People are talking, but are they really saying anything?

When I talk, I try to always add value. People ask me why I am always so quiet, sometimes I just prefer to listen.”

Zack Mathis is going to make a lot of noise in this world by saying very little.

The Final Five

1. What is a daily routine that allows you to stay on your A game?

"I wake up and scroll through my social media feed -- see what is going on in the world. Generally, I will check twitter to find what is trending and if I can apply it to marketing for Azzip."

2. What book do you most often gift to others?

How to Win Friend and Influence People by Daniel Carnegie. The book has a lot of great lessons, but it focuses on understanding other people’s perspectives. It highlights the importance of empathy." 

3. What is your vice/guilty pleasure?

"I wouldn’t necessarily call it a vice, but quality goods and spending quality time with people. Both of these ‘vices’ can cause me to spend too much money. With that said, I see it as an investment that is worth it to me." 

4. What is your superpower?

"I'm good at helping people work through things. As they fill the silence, I keep an ear out for a solution hidden in their words."

5. If you could have a billboard at the busiest intersection in the world, what would it say?

"Listen."

By Cole Schafer

Lucid Dreamers: Ben Trockman is Going to Change The World

This post is sponsored by Lucid Coffee Bar, a hidden gem in downtown Newburgh. The Lucid's Dreamers campaign celebrates those in the community that have big dreams and inspire others by telling their unique stories and experiences. 

I am a coffee connoisseur, and in my humble opinion Lucid reps out the best Americano in town. Stop by when you get the chance and give Lucid a try, I promise you won't be disappointed. They are located at 224 West Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630.

Cole Schafer Blog
I am so fortunate because I have a job where I get to spend the day thinking about how I can make other people’s lives better.

When I walked out of Ben’s office and into the blistering cold Indiana winter, my entire being was focused, inspired and moved by a single looping thought -- Ben Trockman is going to change the world. 

“At the age of 17, when I had my spinal cord injury, the whole world stopped.

I went from being this independent high school kid, that thought nothing could stop me, to having to rely on my family to assist me in everyday tasks like eating, bathing, dressing and even sending text messages.

Over the past 10 years I have gained a greater perspective on the world, and have learned to celebrate what truly matters in life -- building genuine relationships, having good conversations and working to create happier lives for others.

I think about all the people that have helped me get to where I am today and think about all they have sacrificed. That is what drives me. I was given another chance and if I can provide just a fraction of all that was given to me, I know my life will be fulfilled.

I think people get so caught up in doing their own thing, that they forget to open their eyes and look around. We all tend to forget that we have an opportunity to do something bigger than ourselves.

I am so fortunate because I have a job where I get to spend the day thinking about how I can make other people’s lives better.”  

Ben graduated in 2014 with a degree in PR and Advertising, and went on to do a 3 month internship with the Easter Seals, before being hired by Old National Bank to serve as their Outreach & Employment Specialist -- where he works to increase successful employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

After Ben’s accident, he started to notice that people had difficulty engaging with individuals with disabilities. He used himself as an example, “People are afraid to come up and greet me because they are scared I can’t shake their hand, so they just don’t engage.”

He began to realize that he needed to change how society viewed people with disabilities. He knew in order to do this, he would have to start from the top of an organization and work his way down -- Old National Bank was a great place to start.

Ben started the Achieve ABILITY professional mentoring program within Old National Bank, a program that pairs their organization’s leaders with individuals with disabilities. The program has been a huge success and Old National has since hired 3 of the Executive Pairings that Ben has put together.

One of my favorite stories Ben told me was about a young woman from the University of Evansville. She is a phenomenal student, a dual major in Finance and accounting, extremely outgoing and she has traveled across the world to over 15 different countries. This young woman also happens to be completely blind.

He explained how much this young woman opened the eyes of the ONB leader she was paired with. She helped him realize that people with disabilities aren’t handicap, they are just reserved and fully capable of accomplishing anything.

Ben said that one of the most rewarding aspects of his position has been seeing how many people within Old National have bought into the organization’s mission.

“We have had a huge impact on ONB culture and the communities within our footprint. We are creating a corporate culture that is compassionate and empathetic to not just people with disabilities, but to people in general.”

I asked Ben what his future goals were for himself and for the movement he has created at Old National Bank, “In the next 3 years I want to continue to be involved in the community and become a part of the economic development in Evansville. I want to continue to work with ONB to build awareness and push this mindset across other organizations.”

After our discussion, I couldn’t decide what impressed me most about Ben Trockman. All I knew, was that I had just met with one of the most selfless, compassionate and purposeful individuals alive today.

During my hour discussion with Ben Trockman, he taught me that success comes down to mastering one very simple lesson -- spend time each day making other people’s lives better, happier and fuller.

Ben is spending each day creating a movement that quite possibly could change millions of people’s lives across the United States -- that makes Ben Trockman the most successful person I know.

Continue to change the world my friend, one day you’re going to be the person that other people quote.

Ben is currently gathering signatures for a petition, he is calling on Indiana Lawmakers to give a much-needed update to the state's accessibility symbol. Please click on the picture above and sign his petition! 

The Final Five

1. What is a daily routine that allows you to stay on your A game?

“I am big on making lists. I am constantly thinking about what I need to accomplish, and often times this causes me to become scatter-brained. Creating lists helps me stay on track and remain focused on the task at hand”

2. What book do you most often gift to others?

“I am not much of a book reader. I am more of a quote guy. I love quotes. It’s amazing to find inspiration in the words of someone who has accomplished a lot in their lifetime. In fact, I will share a quote with you that I live by. It’s by Theodore Roosevelt -- “Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, great actions speak to all mankind.””

3. What is your vice/guilty pleasure?

“Social media is sometimes a weakness of mine.”

4. What is your superpower?

“I am a good gatherer of people. I spend time trying to foster relationships with people, and have been blessed with great friends. I would say my superpower is that I can throw a good party.”

5. If you could have a billboard at the busiest intersection in the world, what would it say?

“Dream as if you will live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow.”

-- James Dean

By Cole Schafer

Lucid Dreamers: Stacey Godbold, Discovering Your Passion & Becoming a Self-Learner

This post is sponsored by Lucid Coffee Bar, a hidden gem in downtown Newburgh. The Lucid's Dreamers campaign celebrates those in the community that have big dreams and inspire others by telling their unique stories and experiences. 

I am a coffee connoisseur, and in my humble opinion Lucid reps out the best Americano in town. Stop by when you get the chance and give Lucid a try, I promise you won't be disappointed. They are located at 224 West Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630.

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I think what I am most proud of is the fact that I am a self-learner. In school, I had difficulty applying myself. But once I discovered my passion later in life, I started working relentlessly to become good at it.

Stacey Godbold’s smile lit up the room as she stepped out of the cold and into the warmth of Lucid Coffee Bar. She greeted me with a colossal hug, and I noted how fond I was of the powerful energy she carried -- it felt genuine and ever present, completely unforced.

More people should hug people like Stacey hugs people.

The two of us eventually made our way up the stairs to the loft residing directly above Lucid. She sipped away at her latte as she told me a story packed full of both good and bad chapters that were rich with wondrous twists and turns.

Today, Stacey is the president and founder of Project Reveal -- a highly successful non profit that supports and inspires women by sharing stories of strength and hope through their documentary television series and community events.

What I loved most about Stacey’s story was it’s relevance to so many young people. Stacey Godbold ended up in a much different place than she started. She would be the first one to tell you that it’s not about where you start, but rather where you finish.

Cole Schafer Blog

“Growing up, I was the wild, less focused one of my friends. In school, when I wasn’t socializing, I was staring out the window, losing myself in my thoughts, daydreaming.

When I went off to Western Kentucky, I believe I started off studying to become a dietician and then eventually moved to speech therapy. I remember having no idea what people actually did in their day jobs and just picked a major I thought would make me money. 

The summer before my senior year, I got very sick mentally, emotionally and spiritually. My parents asked me to come home so I could get healthy again. It was right around this time I met a guy I really liked, and the two of us started golfing all the time. One day, an older gentleman asked to join us, and my initial reaction was, ‘Uh, no… I want to spend time with my boyfriend.’ Well, I am glad we ended up allowing him to accompany us because he offered me a job that introduced me to my passion -- marketing, PR and advertising.

I think what I am most proud of is the fact that I am a self-learner. In school, I had difficulty applying myself. But once I discovered my passion later in life, I started working relentlessly to become good at it. I would spend hours watching a video on how to make a brochure, build a website or shoot a professional video.

I had a real drive to be really good at what I did.

As I continued to learn and work, more and more opportunities came my way. I became the director of marketing for SWAT Pest Control, then later went on to become the marketing director for the Girl Scouts of Southwestern Indiana.

After having my first born, I started struggling with infertility and went into a very dark place spiritually and emotionally. It was ugly. I needed to know what women were going through and how they got through it. I needed to know I was not the only one struggling and feeling crazy. I got this idea to start taking videos of women telling their stories. It was my way of looking to other women for inspiration.  

This was where Project Reveal took root, and it has been growing ever since."

Stacey Godbold has become one of the more successful marketers in the area. She has built a monumental foundation from the ground up and continues to selflessly serve the women in her community on a daily basis. She did every bit of this without ever being traditionally educated in marketing, entrepreneurship or even leadership.

She was 100 percent self taught, and in my eyes that is Stacey’s greatest achievement.

Final Five

1. What is a daily routine that allows you to stay on your “A” Game?

“My daily routine is morning prayer, coffee and then coffee again. Then in no particular order -- Crossfit, sweating, laughing, grunting and a little swearing. Also tight hugs for my husband and snotty mouth kisses from my kids.”

2. What book do you most often gift to others?

“You know, I actually don’t spend much time reading. I do have a few things that I live by and pass on to women -- write down your fears or tell someone. Set it free so it won’t take ahold of you.”

3. What is your vice/guilty pleasure?

“Oh man, this is terrible, but I have a potty mouth. I know… it’s not very lady like.”

4. What is your superpower?

“I am grateful that I have been given an insane amount of energy. I am like the energizer bunny, constantly on the go-go-go.”

5. If you could have a billboard at the busiest intersection in the world. What would it say?

“When we serve others, we are the best version of ourselves.”

By Cole Schafer

Lucid Dreamers: Brandon Scott & The Meaning Behind Carter Crew

This post is sponsored by Lucid Coffee Bar, a hidden gem in downtown Newburgh. The Lucid's Dreamers campaign celebrates those in the community that have big dreams and inspire others by telling their unique stories and experiences. 

I am a coffee connoisseur, and in my humble opinion Lucid reps out the best Americano in town. Stop by when you get the chance and give Lucid a try, I promise you won't be disappointed. They are located at 224 West Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630.

Cole Schafer Blog

Foreward

For almost a year, I had heard about Brandon Scott, but never actually had the chance to meet him. Business professionals described him as being a marketing genius. Individuals in my creative circle deeply admired his creative brilliance. Mutual friends of ours claimed he was the most genuine and authentic human-being they ever had the pleasure of knowing.

I was curious -- who on Earth was this Brandon Scott guy? And why was the entire city of Evansville talking about him?

I fully understood the buzz after running into him one night at a bustling bar in town. Previously to the exchange I am about to describe, we had met briefly, but not long enough to share anything deeper than small talk.

If you have ever met Brandon, you would understand what I mean when I say he looks famous. His appearance, the way he communicates and the way he carries himself leaves an individual questioning whether or not they are in the presence of a star. I think in many ways, he is.

On this particular night he greeted me with a big smile and a firm handshake, immediately cutting past any bullshit, he asked me, “So Cole, what does success look like for your life?”

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t slightly taken aback, “Well, I kind of want to be an entrepreneur. I also like to write. Honestly, I don’t really know..?”  

Brandon laughed and said, “Cole, man. That’s the worst answer you could have given me.”

I was used to most people offering a cliche response to my statement -- oh, don’t worry… you have plenty of time to figure it out! Well, Brandon wasn’t most people.

“My friend. You are too talented to let indecision keep you from your dreams. If you want to find success, if you want to be successful, you must clearly define it. Then you need to set tactical goals or milestones and pursue them with an unmatched laser-focus. You have to throw blinders on, have tunnel vision on exactly what it is you are wanting to achieve, and attack each goal like a rung on a ladder. Everything else needs to become white noise. If you chase after multiple things at once, or even worse, don’t know what you’re chasing after, you’ll just be running in place.”

I didn’t know it at the time, but this single conversation would greatly impact the course of my life. Brandon, in many ways, is the reason I chose to follow my dreams of writing with an intense dedication and is to thank for me being able to make a living following that dream today.

So, before we begin… Thank you Brandon Scott.

Lucid Dreamers: Brandon Scott & The Meaning Behind ‘Carter Crew’

Cole Schafer Blog
My life changed quite a bit when my son Carter was born 9 months ago, and 5 weeks premature. He was in the NICU for 9 days straight and I can honestly say those were the longest 9 days of my life.

Two years later, sitting across from Brandon Scott at Lucid Coffee Bar, I finally had the chance to learn more about the life and mindset of an individual I had looked up to for so long. What was intended on being a 30 minute interview, turned into an hour and a half conversation about life, business, family and service to others.

If I were to say that Brandon has lived an impressive life, it would be an understatement. As a sophomore in high school, before suffering an MCL tear, Brandon was being recruited for football by a handful of Big 10 universities. After the injury, he diverted his attention to basketball, where he went on to play at the collegiate level.

During his time in college, he dual-majored in Musicology and Music Technology, eventually going on to land an internship at Island Def Jam Records. Yes -- Kanye West, Desiigner, 2 Chainz, Logic, Iggy Azalea, Jhene Aiko, Big Sean and Justin Bieber.

After graduation, Brandon worked relentlessly, pursuing a number of passions in Atlanta. During the day he managed an Express store, and at night he worked as a Music Producer and Audio Engineer.

It was around this time that Brandon was approached by a couple of his old high school buddies to start a t-shirt company called College Slogans. This small start-up eventually transformed into what would become College Mansion and Mansion Minds, which was an interactive media agency that promoted college lifestyle entertainment -- once valued at nearly $20 million, with clients including Anheuser-Busch and NFL Player Rob Gronkowski.

Brandon’s knowledge of user experience and his passion for entrepreneurship, technology, social media and digital marketing is what led him to accept a position at Ten Adams as the Director of Brand Strategy + Digital. Ten Adams is nestled in the heart of Downtown Evansville and is one of the strongest healthcare branding, marketing + advertising firms in the region, currently growing at an electric pace.

As Brandon and I dug deeper into topics about life and family, I discovered that what made Brandon so successful had nothing to do with his drive and more so to do with a service he believed he owed to others. This discovery hit me when he told me about the birth of his son and the meaning behind his name.

“My life changed quite a bit when my son Carter was born 9 months ago, and 5 weeks premature. He was in the NICU for 9 days straight and I can honestly say those were the longest 9 days of my life. It was this constant state of ambiguity, not knowing for sure if he was going to be okay.

I remember when I was considering career moves from Atlanta, Georgia in 2013 -- I had the option to choose between Evansville, Charlotte and NYC. When I visited Evansville and met with Ten Adams, I fell in love with the people and the hometown feel. I saw the vision from the company’s leadership, and the need for me to join the Ten Adams team. I also saw this incredible, unique local energy building and moving around the town.  It was important for me to really connect, collaborate, contribute and add value to the movement.  Acquaintances became quality friends, and eventually these friends became family. I will never forget how the Evansville community was there for my family and I during this very intense time in our lives, it was incredible. It validated why we chose Evansville to call home.

My wife Jill and I chose to name our son Carter Crew. A name that really fit our journey and values.

Carter is a Scottish word and it means to transport goods by cart or wagon. Crew by definition is a group of people that work closely together to complete a common goal.

The greatest lesson I will ever give to my son is in his name -- Life is not meant to be spent self-served. Collaboration is far more attractive than ego. Carter Crew is the blessing of personal relationships that have added immeasurable value to our lives. I want for him to be there for others, even at times carry the weight for others. I want him to step up when called upon, and to be of service to his friends and family.”

After Brandon told me his son’s story, I started to reflect on his life and the many amazing things he had accomplished. What I realized was that above everything else, his life was about helping other people.

In high school & college he was a teammate. Post graduation, he worked with artists to improve their sound, their craft and their passions. When his old high school friends approached him about helping them with the creative aspect of their business, he jumped at the opportunity. When he gave me advice one night that would eventually change the course of my life, he was strictly concerned about my own well-being.  Today as a Digital Marketing Strategist working with some of the biggest healthcare organizations in the nation, he helps them improve their brand and their digital presence, so they can in turn better reach and serve the tens of thousands of people suffering from illness and injury.

What I learned about Brandon Scott was that his entire life, the lessons he taught and the way in which he lives to serve others came down to two words… Carter Crew.

Final Five

What is a daily routine that allows you to stay on your A game?

"Every morning when I wake up, I try to consume information from different outlets and mediums. I remind myself to keep an open perspective, learn and pray for wisdom and courage. I don’t necessarily follow a specific routine, but I have a personal ethos about falling in love with the path and not the product. The journey is as fulfilling as the destination."

What book do you most often gift to others?

"The Alchemist. Although, now that we have Carter Crew, I recommend Moms on Call for new parents."

What is your vice/guilty pleasure?

"I tend to spread myself too thin. I am really bad at saying ‘No’.  But to be honest, I don’t plan on changing this aspect of myself and I don’t necessarily want to. I like to be everywhere at once and I live to provide as much value to as many people as I can -- I couldn’t do this if I stopped saying yes to people when the opportunity presents itself."

What is your superpower?

"Faith. Hebrews 11:1 isn’t just a scripture for me, my life has really been guided by it at every turn." 

If you could have a billboard at the busiest intersection in the world, what would it say?

"Connect. Collaborate. Contribute."

By Cole Schafer

Lucid Dreamers: Alisha Sims, Overcoming Sexual Abuse & Discovering Self-Love

This post is sponsored by Lucid Coffee Bar, a hidden gem in downtown Newburgh. The Lucid's Dreamers campaign celebrates those in the community that have big dreams and inspire others by telling their unique stories and experiences. 

I am a coffee connoisseur, and in my humble opinion Lucid reps out the best Americano in town. Stop by when you get the chance and give Lucid a try, I promise you won't be disappointed. They are located at 224 West Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630.

Cole Schafer Blog
I found that as I got older, my body remembered the abuse long after I felt like I had moved past it.

Alisha Sims approached me carrying an impressive digital camera equipped with a massive lens at her side. Her bright blue eyes pierced through the burnt shades of fall, and her blonde hair contrasted elegantly with her tightly fitted black leather dress and knee-high grey boots.

I could feel the confidence radiating off her heart and soul, and before she ever spoke, I knew she lived with a deeper purpose than most.  

At the time of our interview, I knew nothing about her, save for the fact that she ran one of the premier wedding & Boudoir photography businesses in Southern Indiana. I had been following her work for nearly a year, and it was only a matter of time before I chose her to be a Lucid Dreamer.

About 10 minutes into our discussion, I realized the beautiful, bold and confident woman sitting in front of me was once very broken. Alisha Sims turned out to be one of the strongest individuals I had ever been in the presence of.

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“I was sexually abused when I was a kid. I believe 8 years old was the first time it happened, and it continued on and off into high school. I found that as I got older, my body remembered the abuse long after I felt like I had moved past it. I had an incredible amount of difficulty trusting and feeling comfortable enough around a man to become intimate. I went through years of therapy to overcome the trauma I experienced in my childhood and teenage years. Something I struggled with was my self-love, shame and a healthy level of comfortability with my sexuality.

I made the decision to become a Boudoir photographer because I wanted to help women discover something I very much needed during that difficult time in my life -- empowerment, self-love, sexual confidence and love for my body. I work everyday for these beliefs to be normal things for women, because they were something I had to work everyday for years, to find in myself.

That’s why I am a Boudoir photographer.

After sitting down and talking with Alisha about Boudoir Photography, I did some research on the art and some of the many benefits that come along with it. For those of you who don’t know, Boudoir is a French word that means a woman’s private room or bedroom. The art of Boudoir Photography is creating intimate settings for classy and romantic images of women.

While this form of photography is controversial, it is hugely therapeutic for woman dealing with self-confidence and sexual issues. I must admit, I was a little skeptical at first, but Alisha made me a believer.

Alisha Sims is 27 years old and has been running her photography business for nearly seven years. She currently has 3-part time employees, and imagines she will need more, as her business is growing rapidly.

Towards the end of our conversation, I took a moment to fully appreciate the strong individual sitting in front of me and the adversity she had to overcome to get where she was today. Here was a 27 year old female entrepreneur making a killing in the photography business, while working every single day to help women discover confidence and celebrate their sexuality.

While I had only knew Alisha for an hour, I felt an incredible amount of pride in her, what she overcame and everything she stood for.

She truly is an exceptional human-being.

The Final Five

1. What is a daily routine that allows you to stay on your "A" Game?

"I wake up thinking each day is going to be a good day. Along with this I celebrate the small wins. When my team lands a client, no matter the size, we take a break and have a dance party."

2. What book do you most often gift to other people?

"For couples, I always recommend The Five Love Languages & for single woman I recommend Girl Boss.

3. What is your vice/ guilty pleasure?

"I am awful at relaxing. I am a workaholic and struggle to find balance. I always want my family and fiance to feel loved, so this is something I am constantly working on."

4. What is your super power?

"I am a believer. I believe in myself and I believe in people. I also don’t ever consider failure. In fact, in my mind it does not exist, it just isn’t an option."

5. If you could have a billboard at the busiest intersection in the world, what would it say?

“Less perfection, more passion.”

By Cole Schafer

 

 

 

 

 

Lucid Dreamer's: Tristian Gregory & The Art of Focus

This post is sponsored by Lucid Coffee Bar, a hidden gem in downtown Newburgh. The Lucid's Dreamers campaign celebrates those in the community that have big dreams and inspire others by telling their unique stories and experiences. 

I am a coffee connoisseur, and in my humble opinion Lucid reps out the best Americano in town. Stop by when you get the chance and give Lucid a try, I promise you won't be disappointed. They are located at 224 West Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630.

Cole Schafer Blog
You can be average, or you can choose to thrive in this world. It’s your choice.

I was seated outside of Lucid Coffee Bar when Tristian Gregory pulled up in a brand new Dodge Durango. He stepped out sporting a well-tailored black suit & a pair of shades, talking on the phone with whom I presumed to be a client.

He is a hustler -- constantly on the move, constantly making things happen.

He greeted me with a big smile as I handed him his drink of choice, a mocha latte. While I had known Tristian for quite sometime, it wasn’t until just recently that the two of us had become good friends. We took a few minutes to catch up on life, before diving into an inspiring discussion about focus & success.

He was a star basketball player back in high school at Evansville Harrison, going on to make quite a bit of noise at the collegiate level at Earlham College -- where he was all-conference his Junior & Senior year, averaging nearly 20 points a game. His success didn’t stop at basketball though, his first year in commercial lending with Old National Bank he was named Top Performer of the Southern Region.

I knew he had to have a pretty amazing story. Here was this guy that time and time again had risen to every occasion life threw in front of him. How did he get to where he was today?

“When I was 2, and my younger brother Trevor was 1, my biological father left us. Times were hard for a little while. There was a period where my mother, Trev and I were so poor that we had to split a #1 from Wendy’s for dinner. My mom seriously worked like crazy to take care of the two of us. She was constantly working, but was never late to pick us up from school, and always figured out ways to spend time with us.

My step dad entered into our lives a couple years later and was just incredible. I remember back in 3rd grade I brought home a ‘D’ on my report card. He sat me down and said, ‘You can be average, or you can choose to thrive in this world. It’s your choice.’ After that conversation I got all A’s from 3rd grade on.

I reflect on where I am today and the success I have had in basketball and in my career, and so much of that can be attributed to my parents. Growing up I watched how much they sacrificed to give Trev and I a better life. I watched what they were willing to give up to make sure we had new clothes and a nice pair of basketball shoes to start the season.

In so many ways, my parents instilled a deep level of focus within me.”

Cole Schafer Blog

Today, Tristian gives back by speaking with non-profits on this subject of focus. He talks monthly at The Goodwill Family Center with a group of struggling women who are interested in bettering their lives. Normally he will structure his discussions in such a way that the first half will consists of lessons on finance, and the second half will be motivational and inspirational material in regards to achieving success in life.

I found this to be incredibly touching. Tristian didn’t really say, but a part of me felt as though this was his way of honoring his mother, by helping women who were once in her position.

While Tristian has already found an immense amount of success at a young age, he is still dreaming and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. He said one day he wants to become the president of Old National bank in the midwest region.

I can’t say for sure, but my guess is that he will be.

Final Five:

1. What is a daily routine that allows you to stay on your A game?

“I listen to Inky Johnson every single day when I wake up, he gets me in the right mindset to go out and make things happen.”

2. What book do you most often gift to other people?

Good to Great. It’s a book about how good companies have become great companies by focusing on their strengths and core competencies. While the book is directed at more of a business audience, many of its lessons can applied at the individual level.”

3. What is your vice/guilty pleasure?

“I definitely struggle with being a perfectionist, and it is something I am currently working on. When you have the mindset that everything needs to perfect in your life, it causes you to get stressed out and pass judgement onto others."

4. What is your superpower?

“I have never met a stranger. I love connecting with the people I meet on a day-to-day basis, even if they are complete strangers.”

5. If you had a blank billboard at the busiest intersection in the world, what would it say?

“Thoughts become things.”

By Cole Schafer

Lucid's Dreamers: Austin Current & Living a Balanced Life

This post is sponsored by Lucid Coffee Bar, a hidden gem in downtown Newburgh. The Lucid's Dreamers campaign celebrates those in the community that have big dreams and inspire others by telling their unique stories and experiences. 

I am a coffee connoisseur, and in my humble opinion Lucid reps out the best Americano in town. Stop by when you get the chance and give Lucid a try, I promise you won't be disappointed. They are located at 224 West Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630. 

Cole Schafer Blog

It is of great rarity that I find myself in the presence of an individual who I would consider to be extraordinary. Austin Current was that rarity.

At 22, Austin is a professional body-builder making crazy amounts of noise in the health & fitness arena. He is a world-traveler, having already set foot in 13 different countries. A certified trainer who has worked with athletes across three continents. And finally a web-entrepreneur seeking to redefine the online fitness coaching industry.

Tracking down Austin was no easy task. Despite his larger than life persona, he is quite introverted and for the most part surrounds himself with a select few. After weeks of back and forth, I was finally able to catch him on a day in-between work-out’s, coaching and traveling.

We sat down for a cup of coffee at Lucid Coffee Bar and had a fascinating discussion about life, balance and roads less traveled by.

For an individual whose job consists of building he and his clients exteriors, I was blown away at just how down to earth, intelligent and transparent Austin was. About 5 minutes into the interview, I quickly realized that Austin had spent just as much time building his mind as he had his body.

“Growing up, I was not an exceptional student in high school. I developed athletically very quickly, it took me till college to fully develop intellectually. I think some of this was due to the fact that everyone knew me as an athlete, so they never cared about how I did academically. I guess it just was never stressed. When I made the decision to go to college, I had one person who believed I could actually finish, that was my grandfather. His support gave me this new sense of responsibility, and was instrumental in the success I have found in college. I literally went my senior year in high school from being a 3.0 student to my freshman year in college achieving a 4.0. I went from being the guy that copied off everyone, to the guy that everyone wanted to copy off of. Many people have this misconception that as a bodybuilder, all I care about is my body and how I look physically. When in reality, my body is the last thing I think about. As a coach, my mantra is balance and moderation. These are the words I live by, and words I do my best to instill in the people I work with."  

This concept of Balance and Moderation is what I believe makes Austin so successful on stage as a competitor, in his personal life and in his business.

He explained to me that before this year, he never thought of himself as an entrepreneur. What recently fueled his desire to run his own business was the flexibility that would come with it, and for an individual who has a handful of passions, flexibility is a necessity.

Cole Schafer Blog
As a coach, my mantra is balance and moderation. These are the words I live by, and words I do my best to instill in the people I work with

Austin explained that he wasn’t concerned about running the show, nor becoming super wealthy. Two very common motivators for individuals seeking careers in entrepreneurship. No, Austin desires to become an entrepreneur because he wants to be in complete control of his life and where his life is taking him.

On that note, I asked Austin what his dream was,

“My dream would be to work remotely, and continue to grow my online business, while positively impacting the people I work with. I think it would be neat to own a tiny house one day, and do a lot of traveling.”

The Final Five

1. What is a daily routine that allows you to stay on your “A” game?

“I actually picked up this tip from Andy Frisella, and it is called a “Power List”. It’s where you write 5 things down that you want to accomplish that day, and just get them done. It doesn’t matter if they are big or small, just write them down. I collapse if I don’t have structure, and this is a tool that I have found very useful in keeping me on course each day.”

2. What book do you most often gift to other people?

“You know, I don’t take the time to read leisurely, just because I read so much academically as it is. But I listen to a ton of audio books, because it gives me the ability to multitask.. Anyways, I recommend any of Gary Vaynerchuk’s books. I also just wrote an eBook that everyone should check out if they are interested in learning more about health & fitness”

3. What is your vice/guilty pleasure?

“Being habitually lazy. I know it sounds odd, and people struggle to understand it. But I have absolutely zero remorse when I lay around all day, hence the “Power List” to keep structure in my life. I love binge watching Netflix, my favorite shows are New Girl, The Office and Friends.”

4. What is your super power?

“Being uncomfortable. Whether it be extreme dieting, studying for a big exam or grinding for the business. I am really good at being uncomfortable to get what I want and where I want.”

5. If you had a blank billboard at the busiest intersection in the world, what would it say?

"Enjoy the moment you're in, because you can't recreate it."

By Cole Schafer

 

 

Lucid's Dreamers: Taylor Mathis & Why Good is Better Than Best

This post is sponsored by Lucid Coffee Bar, a hidden gem in downtown Newburgh. The Lucid's Dreamers campaign celebrates those in the community that have big dreams and inspire others by telling their unique stories and experiences. 

I am a coffee connoisseur, and in my humble opinion Lucid reps out the best Americano in town. Stop by when you get the chance and give Lucid a try, I promise you won't be disappointed. They are located at 224 West Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630. 

As a blogger, transparency is a value I hold close to my heart. So, I would like to preface by saying that Taylor Mathis is one of my best friends. Well, now that I think about it, he is everyone’s best friend. Hell, he is probably even your best friend.

Walking into a bar with Taylor is like watching Ray Liotta work his charisma in Goodfellas. Wherever he goes, he never ceases to be the man of the hour.

Trust me, I should know, the two of us have been heavy frequenters of the Franklin bar scene for far too long.

Our Friday nights generally begin at Sportsman’s, a legendary billiards bar in our hometown. When we walk in, Taylor is immediately met with an onslaught of greetings, handshakes, inside jokes and boisterous laughs (he literally knows everyone, he probably knows your cousin’s boyfriend’s sister’s soccer coach for God’s sakes, I have never met anyone so well-connected).

In the midst of the swarm, I generally take advantage of the time to defuse my social anxieties with a strong G+T. We eventually make our way over to a table, where I kick Taylor's ass in a few rounds of billiards, before continuing down the rest of the Franklin Street bar scene with the underground mayor of Evansville.  

I told myself that I may not be able to be the best at any one single thing, but I could always be a good person and make people feel good.

When Lucid Coffee Bar and I decided to run a campaign called, “Lucid’s Dreamers”, Taylor was the first person I called. I had never taken the time to sit down with him and understand just how he does it.

By “it”, I mean his ornate ability to treat every single person he meets as though they are lifelong friends. I always knew there was something more to the fun-loving, belly laughing entertainer that I am so lucky to call my best friend, and I was ready to find out what exactly made him tick.

The two of us were sitting across from one another at Lucid Coffee, he was quickly working up a buzz from his Iced Vanilla Macchiato. Between pulls, he would say, “My God Schaf, this puppy is really hitting the spot!”

I eventually asked him, “Alright man, so tell me how you became Taylor Mathis?”

He smiled, revealing a set of white pearly teeth, and shared some wisdom that had my brain racing for the remainder of the day,

"I grew up playing baseball. I played throughout elementary school, middle school and even up through high school. When I played, I was never as good as I wanted to be, and for a long time I was really hard on myself about it. You know how it is… you played sports. When you’re young you always want to be the top dog, the best on the team. The problem is that everyone is constantly competing with one another, and I always felt like this sort of threw off the team camaraderie. Over time, I stopped being so hard on myself and realized that life isn’t about being the best. I told myself that I may not be able to be the best at any one single thing, but I could always be a good person and make people feel good."

After Taylor had shared this, my mind flashed back to several months ago when he, myself and a few buddies road tripped up to Indianapolis for the Indy 500. We stopped by Chick-Fil-A, upon Taylor’s request. He had worked a double shift, and hadn’t eaten all day.

He ordered two chicken sandwiches, and I laughed to myself as I watched him shove the first sandwich in his mouth, almost devouring it in a few bites. He was obviously famished.

Right as Taylor was getting ready to tear into his second chicken sandwich, we turned the corner and there was a homeless man holding a sign, “Will work for food.” Taylor raised his voice in the car, “Pull over.”

He handed the homeless man the sandwich through the window, and we continued on up to Indianapolis.

I could tell Taylor was still hungry, but he knew that man was hungrier. That’s the type of person my best friend is.

I later asked Taylor, what his dreams were and where he saw himself ending up. He currently works in sales with the Bob's Gym family in Evansville. He said, "Thus far the experience has been incredibly rewarding. It doesn't feel like sales to me, it feels like I am helping other people live healthier lifestyles. I am not sure what my future holds, I think owning a business would be pretty cool. This right now, is enough for me though."

As a close friend of Taylor's, I couldn't tell you where he is heading, but I know it's somewhere good. 

Cole Schafer