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.
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’
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.
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?
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."