Category Archives: Lifestyle

My 2015 Year In Review

My 2015 Year In Review

What’s up, what’s up, what’s up! Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.

This is my second year-in-review and I have A LOT to share with you so grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!

If you didn’t get a chance to read my 2014 Year In Review, you can read it here.

I write these reviews in hopes that you can join me in celebration of the things that went well, learn from the things that didn’t go so well, and help me stay on track of my goals for 2016. In addition, I write them to be as transparent as possible about my life and to try to show young entrepreneurs a behind-the-scenes preview of what running their businesses will be like. I’ve made and still make so many mistakes in my life and they’re the reasons that I’m here. This post will show you, not only, that I’m a normal human being just like you, but it’ll also show you that with the right amount of hard-work, you can build the life that you deserve.

Before we get started, here’s a little key for you so you don’t get lost:
Last year – 2014
This year – 2015
Next year – 2016

Now let’s get started!

At the end of each year, I use what I’ve learned to determine my focus for the upcoming year— both personally and professionally. In 2013, the focus was to build— as in build a strong team of hard-working and passionate people. In 2014, the focus was to learn— as in make mistakes fast and learn as much as possible. This year (2015), the focus was to grow— as in taking everything we’ve learned over the years and start making decisions that will yield to our growth. Next year (2016), the focus will be maturity!

We’ve been fortunate enough to see continued growth year over year, but we still spend time worrying about whether we’re working with the right clients, whether we’re saying YES to the right projects, whether we’re charging enough for our services, and about things like missing payroll (something we’ve been fortunate enough to never have experienced). And that’s what we plan on changing in 2016!

The year we mature, stop worrying, and continue our journey to building the best company we’ve ever worked for.

What went well

Exercise/Parkour
Midway through last year, I started getting serious about my health (eating habits, gym, spartan race, etc). I spent a majority of this year learning about my body, eating clean, and getting more cut.

I also started playing around with Parkour. For those who are not familiar, here’s my definition: It’s where you run around the street and use the objects around you to do tricks on (walls, benches, little kids, etc). Think America’s Ninja Warrior!

I fell in love with freerunning and parkouring! Here’s a clip of me practicing some of my moves :)  My 2015 Year In Review simple smile

Travel
Last year, Dahcia (my wife) and I got the wedding of our dreams paid for by some very nice people. Unfortunately, the day after our wedding, we got right back to work in our hotel room. We promised ourselves that when things settled down, we were going to take a honeymoon once a month.

By the grace of God, we kicked off that honeymoon year in May of 2015. May 22 is our anniversary and May 24 is Dahcia’s birthday. We went to Tampa, FL and Miami, FL for about a week. Since then, we’ve been traveling about once a month.

Here are some other places we went this year: Montreal, Miami, Tampa, Poconos, Vegas, Los Angeles, New York Adirondacks retreat (Upstate NY with no phone/internet). I also went to Vegas a second time (for my brother’s birthday) and to Maryland (DC area) with a few friends.

boogie
This year was VERY emotional for me for many reasons. For starters, they (DJ Khaled voice) say that 80% of businesses fail within its first 3 years. boogie celebrated its 3 year anniversary this year and I have some exciting things to share about our progress.

Office
Three years ago, I took a HUGE risk and put all of my money into reconstructing and renovating our office. Three years later, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in life. Read more about that risk here.

In October, we moved out of our 800 sqr ft Albany office and moved to a new 2,000 sqr ft Troy space. When I signed the lease to my first office, I couldn’t afford to hire someone to do construction, so my best friend, my wife, and I spent 5 months doing it ourselves. We added new carpets, we painted, we built a wall, and we decorated. We learned how to do all these things through YouTube. Today, there’s an entire team (not our team) who’s responsible for construction on our new office. It’s a great feeling to move into a place that is professionally done without any physical labor of our own.

post_pic3  My 2015 Year In Review post pic3

People
We had our fair share of interns come and go throughout the year. We’re very thankful for everyone who was a part of our boogie family and helped us grow the way we did.

While it was a mutual decision, we did lose one of our most passionate team members this year. She has moved on to follow her passions while doing some great things and we’ve been collectively rooting for her ever since. We’re very proud of her and are so excited for her new journey.

Lastly, we hired our first full-time business development (sales) person this year and we’re already seeing how great of a decision that was.

Finances
This was a pretty good year for us when it comes to finances. We wanted to grow by 200% but eventually realized how unrealistic that was for our current size. Our revenue increased by 42% and profits increased by 25%. In other words, if we made $100 last year, this year we made $142. Now just add some more zeros 😉

All in all, it was a great year for us. We developed some great partnerships, we hired a team overseas, and we did some pretty amazing work this year, including an April Fools campaign when we pranked over 6 million people on the internet.

Oh, I almost forgot! I was selected to be one of the Albany Business Review’s 40 Under 40 award recipients this year. Next up, Forbes 30 under 30.

Hustlepreneur.co (this blog)
If you’ve been following me since last year, you may have noticed that this website got a slight haircut. Actually, it was a whole new facelift! I redesigned this website to make the reading experience easier and to remove all distractions that the previous site had.

I also added a books page and a speaking page. The books page holds books that I’ve written and the ones that I’m in the process of writing (i.e. my new ebook called Smartwork that so many of you downloaded a copy of). The speaking page is the best place to go if someone wanted to hire me to speak at your their school or their event.

I also completely changed my focus for this blog. When I started out last year, I was just interested in writing blogs that people would be interested in reading. As time went by, I realized that the #1 reason people read my blogs, watch my videos, and subscribe to my mailing list is because they want to learn how to turn their passion(s) into profits. So I listened and removed all of my old blogs that were irrelevant and started writing new relevant ones.

Ps: If you’re reading this then I want to say Thank You! It’s people like you that inspire me to write these reviews, write my blogs, and create my videos. So again, Thank YOU for your continued support.

If we’re not already connected on Facebook, then you can do so here (PS: Facebook verified my page this year too)

Motivational Speaking
I finally decided to take my speaking serious and started actually charging for them. I made that decision towards the end of the year and I look forward to seeing it pay off next year. I’ve spoken to many types of audiences but I’ve decided that the audience I mostly enjoy speaking to and who I can also provide the most value to are high school and college students.

I must’ve had a speaking gig at least 10 – 15 times this year and I’m looking to double that next year. I even got a chance to speak at the EventTech Experiential Marketing conference in Vegas which was exciting because Dahcia spoke at a session there as well.

Breadcrumbs
Last year, I mentioned an idea for a new company that I wanted to launch this year. This summer, we did just that! Breadcrumbs helps small businesses build beautiful, mobile-friendly, and modern websites for an affordable monthly price. So far, Breadcrumbs has been growing by over 100% each month.

So far so good. Our customers are loving the service. Our latest project: YTIYonkers.org.

Personal life
When I first got married, a lot of people told me that marriage was going to be hard. They told me I needed to have patience and blah blah blah. I love all of you guys for your advice  but I’m going to have to say thanks but no thanks.

Is marriage a piece of cake? No, it’s not… but it’s not only marriage, it’s all relationships. Friends, siblings, spouses, co-workers, etc. They all require a little bit of work– patience, sacrifices, and more.

I’ve been married for nearly two years now and it’s been one of the best things to happen to me. My wife and I live together, work together, teach Sunday school together, travel together, and so much more. On average, we spend approximately 24 hours a day together and it’s the single reason I wake up smiling every single day. I have my best friend, my wife, my biggest fan, my hairdresser, my gossip buddy, my road dog, my proofreader, my business partner, my motivator, and my Netflix [& chill] buddy with me at all times. I have plenty of reasons to be happy about life.

Alright, enough of the mushy stuff…

This year we wanted to spend more time together (the irony) and get more serious about managing our finances. Traveling has allowed us to spend more time together and we made some drastic changes to the way we were managing our money.

We share a salary at the company (like one high paid person’s salary). Thankfully, we live in Albany (Upstate NY) where things are a lot more affordable than New York City and some of the other major cities in the US. We also don’t have any expensive habits ;).

10% of all the money we bring in goes towards our savings. Another 10% goes towards tithe, which we give to our church. 60% goes towards bills (rent, student loans, internet, Netflix/Hulu, car insurance, credit cards, and everything else that’s due on the 1st). The remainder 20% is used for things that are not as consistent like food shopping, gas, donations, gifting, and traveling.

In 2016, we’re thinking about reserving 5-10% of our income for traveling. Long term, I’d love to have separate accounts for donations, traveling, investing, emergency, school tuition for our future kids, shopping, and a few other things.

Note to self: One thing at a time Jacques, you’re only 25 (turning 26 on January 24th)

What didn’t go so well

Professor Bastien?
In January 2014, I accepted a position at University at Albany to become one of their first Ui/Ux design professors. I’ve taught that class four (4) times in two (2) years. I genuinely love teaching! I meet amazing students who end up becoming close friends or employees at boogie. It also forces me to stay up to date with the design industry so that’s a plus.

But this year, I realize that I was no longer passionate about the type of teaching I was doing. The traditional style of teaching where a grade was the deciding factor between student’s success or not. It’s not necessarily what I believe in.

So I decided that this year was going to be my last year teaching in the classroom. Instead, I’m going to focus on teaching in less traditional ways; writing blogs, public speaking, writing books, creating videos, etc. This way, I’ll be able to make a bigger impact and reach more people.

Towards the end of the year, I was offered another teaching opportunity from another nearby college. I have since declined that offer.

Side effects of travel?

While I thoroughly enjoyed traveling this year, there were a few side-effects. For starters, all that traveling actually made me really tired. I’m assuming it’s because of the drive/plane rides, but I always came back home more tired than when I left. It could also be because during our travels, we also still worked for a few hours. This year we’re going to try to make our vacations just that, vacations. I may have to purposely leave my computer chargers in New York.

Also because of the traveling, we missed church a lot. If we used to go to church every Sunday and a few Wednesdays out the year, this year we went to church about 1-2x a month. We still pray every day and kept a very close relationship with our Father but we missed the feeling of being in a room full of God’s children praising his name.

Focus (R.I.P. PrettySimpl)

Believe it or not, I have a big problem with focusing. I don’t have an issue with procrastination or anything like that. Instead, my issue is that I’m interested in way too many things and that leads to me biting off more than I can chew. It’s a pattern that I see every year– I’m introduced to a cool company and the founder/owner asks me to become a partner or investor. If it’s not that scenario, then it’s a company that I decide to start myself.

We’ve seen this pattern with companies like MappIt (partner), StyleHotels (partner), CasedUp (partner), Pretty Simpl (founder), and Authenpic (partner).

One of my biggest weakness is the fact that I know how to do so many things. I can design, code, write (sort of), strategize, use common sense, network, sell things, grow a team, and more. As far as the things that I don’t know how to do, my attitude is that I can always figure it out. And that’s my weakness because I can create a brand new company overnight and have it looking like it’s been around for years. But that’s also my strength. I love learning and I tend to be pretty curious about a lot of things. And when I get curious, I start exploring my curiosity.

Then again, that same curiosity is why I’m here. It’s the reason that I learned to produce music, cut hair, play the guitar, start designing, taking photos, writing, and start a company. It’s the reason that boogie exists today.

And that’s why I decided it was time to start saying NO. I said NO to all opportunities that came my way this year and even said RIP to some of the ventures I was already involved in. This also includes my printing company, Pretty Simpl. The company that I was once offered a million dollars for has closed its proverbial doors.

It was hard to do but sometimes you have to learn to pivot (or in this case, throw in the towel). As far as the other companies, I did not want to be a part of a team that I wasn’t giving my 100% to. They all appreciated the transparency and we left on good terms. I didn’t ask for a penny and gave up all ownership I had.

Moving forward, I will still work on multiple projects but the only difference is I’ll make sure they are only companies that I fully own/start.

Busy-ness?
Because of the focus thing I mentioned above, I was tied down so much throughout the year. My blog suffered from it. I didn’t write as much as I did last year. Even with my personal assistant, Andre, I still felt like I didn’t have full control over my schedule.
The solution: Say NO, plan better, and delegate often.

My plans for 2016

boogie
We ended the year on a high note for boogie and that’s new to us because December is always a bad month. We feel like we’re finally starting to see the benefits of all the hard-work that we all, as a team, put in over the years.

The #1 thing we’re going to work towards is getting better clients. We have a good feeling about 2016 (but then again, everyone has a good feeling about every year when it starts).

boogie LA (our 3rd office) will be opening up in the early parts of 2016 and we’re all excited. We hired our first west coast based team member in December 2015 and we’re looking forward to establishing our base there.

In terms of finances, our goal is to increase revenue by 100% (or double what we did in 2015). It seems very do-able.

Here’s to the year of maturity!

Travel
In 2015, we had to limit our travels to US states, with the exception of Montreal. Next year, we’re going to continue traveling but, we’re going to introduce some international countries to our hitlist. We’re looking at Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, and somewhere in Europe.

Moving?
Yes, you heard that right. I’m not going to share where yet so you have to stay tuned. But by the end of 2016, Dahcia and I will be living somewhere else. Somewhere really far away from Albany.

www.xxxxxxxxx.com?
Don’t click the link above because I’m sure wherever it goes is probably NSFW. That’s just me trying to hide the name of the new website domain that Dahcia and I bought this year.

I know that I went on and on earlier about focusing and starting too many companies but this one is different, I promise (at least that’s what I keep telling myself). Apparently Dahcia and I felt like we weren’t busy enough so we decided that we’d start working on a new company together. This company will be simple to run, or at least, easy to outsource the work for. We’re both extremely excited about this and will update you more on it at a later time.

Health Insurance?
This is something I’ve never really talked about publicly but I felt like it belonged here. Our company technically offers our team the option to have health insurance but since a majority of our team is under 26 years old, they kindly declined because they are under their parents’ health insurance. For our team member (singular) who’s over 26, he already had great coverage with his wife which he preferred to keep. In other words, we’ve been able to dodge that bullet but I know the time is coming where we’ll have to pay for our team’s health insurance. It’s all good, we’re ready for it.

Now let me explain why I shared that with you. I’m going to try to sound like I know what I’m talking about.

I’ve always been under my father’s health insurance plan but when I turned 21 (5 years ago), I was kicked off my dad’s insurance plan. I think that’s how dependent health insurance worked until Universal Healthcare became a thing– thanks Obama! (but please, don’t quote me).

Back then, my only focus was to build boogie so I basically ignored that aspect of my life (I’m sure there was a way I could’ve re-enrolled). A few years later, after paying for simple medical things out of pocket, I started looking into getting health insurance for myself. It was complicated because I was trying to decide whether it was smart to get personal insurance for myself or get a business insurance and add myself in there.

Either way, at that time the lowest plan I saw $300/month and I wasn’t ready to invest that money for a ‘just in case’ (horrible mentality, I know).

As the company grew and more money started coming in, I could’ve invested it into getting myself insured, but no, I wanted to hire more people, put money back into the company, and blah blah blah. I was willing to pay health insurance for new employees but completely neglected it when it came to myself. Some of our paid interns made much more money than the cost to insure me, at the time. Still, I put to money back into the company, gave people raises, blah blah blah. Just to give you an idea of how straight my priorities were, we were (and still are) spending $250 each month on website hosting -__-. Come on Jacques.

This is not a story that I’m proud to share and I can only thank God for allowing me to live 5 years without health insurance and throughout the year, there wasn’t anything that happened that I couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket.

But all of that is changing in 2016! I’ve already started applications and your boy will be fully insured!

If you’re ever in that predicament, please don’t do what I did. You should always take care of yourself first. If you’re not convinced, just think of the fact that if you were to get into an accident (or something worse) today, your company would no longer exist. All of the people who’s lifestyle depends on you, all of those families that you’re responsible for the food that goes on their tables, they’d no longer have that. You are your company and you need to take care of yourself.

———

Until next time ladies and gentlemen! I’ll see you next year. If you liked/enjoyed this post, do me a favor and sign up to my mailing list below. Know a friend who could use some motivation, share this link with him/her.

Remember, any progress is progress. Just make sure you always “challenge yourself to be better than you were yesterday, every day!”

10 Ways to make money online TODAY

10 Ways to make money online TODAY

It’s now the 21st century and let’s face it- the world that we’ve come to know has undergone tremendous change in the digital space. We now have a car that drives itself, Same day delivery via drones, and you can now access most musical albums from all over the world for free (obviously except for Taylor Swift’s).

Innovation and the growth of technology has given us access to information like never before and that access has opened up so many opportunities and different ways to make money online.

If you have a computer, a skill or a talent, and the drive of a hustlepreneur, here’s a list of 10 things you can do RIGHT NOW to make money this year, starting TODAY.

10. Sell something on Etsy

etsy ways to make money 10 Ways to make money online TODAY etsy

Etsy is an online marketplace for artists and collectors to sell their vintage goods and/or their own creations (often handmade). Whether you can creatively carve orange peels or create beautiful paintings, Etsy is a great place to start selling your handmade products. Etsy store owners have reported making as low as $0 a month to as much as $7,500 per month.

9. Take online surveys

surveys ways to make money 10 Ways to make money online TODAY surveys

We all have a bit of extra time here and there, why not use it to make some extra money. There are a lot of research companies willing to pay you $100’s of dollars to take surveys online. While it’s not my favorite thing on the list, it’s very popular amongst college students.

Here’s a list of companies that will pay you to take surveys.

8. Sell your old electronics online

gazelle ways to make money 10 Ways to make money online TODAY gazelle
Do you have an iPhone 4 laying around somewhere? Or maybe you have an older Samsung Galaxy in a box somewhere? There are tons of companies out there like Gazelle.com or Usell.com that are willing to buy your old phone or other electronics. The process is very simple and you can get paid in as little as 24 hours from when they receive your products.

7. Drive others around with Lyft

lyft ways to make money 10 Ways to make money online TODAY lyft

Remember college, when you were the only person with a car in your group of friends (those days were brutal)? Remember that ‘friend’ that always wanted rides from you but never offered to fill your tank (some friend)? Well, college is now over and if you have a car that you either drive a lot or is just sitting in your garage, why not put it to good use and make some money driving people around. Whether you’re heading to your local mall or downtown in your city, Lyft allows you to pick up nearby passengers headed the same direction as you, while giving you the chance to make a few bucks during your trip. Lyft drivers make up to $35/hr.

Sidenote: I bummed when I heard about Lyft because I’ve been thinking about this concept for a while– can you tell I was ‘the guy with the car’ in college?

6. Rent your home on AirB&B

airbnb ways to make money 10 Ways to make money online TODAY airbnb

Next time you’re home, do a full walk-through, and ask yourself “can I fit another person in here?” If the answer is yes then AirB&B is for you. If you don’t mind filling up an extra room in your house, you can fill up your wallet with some extra green.

AirB&B is a startup that allows people all around the world to rent their home, room, penthouse, boat, etc to travelers from around the world.

AirB&B hosts have reported making over $30,000 a year from renting their extra spaces.

5. Teach a class on Skillshare

skillshare ways to make money 10 Ways to make money online TODAY skillshareThis is where skills really starts to matter. Are you a great illustrator, web developer, marketing strategist, creative writer, public speaker… person? If so, you can make some extra money this year teaching a class on Skillshare. Skillshare is a great platform that lets anyone teach a class on the things they’re good at. There is an approval process so be sure to only apply to teach the things that you’re truly skilled at.

Teachers on Skillshare have reported netting over $100k a year.

Sidenote: I will be launching a class on Skillshare in the near future, sign up here to find out when it launches.

4. Write for companies like Scripted & Examiner.com

scripted ways to make money 10 Ways to make money online TODAY scriptedIf teaching is not your thing but you’re an amazing writer. Then it might be best to take a peak at websites like Scripted.com, Examiner.com, and a few others.

Get paid thousands to write anything from website copy and blog posts to white papers and even books. Sign up here.

Sidenote: Scripted will be co-hosting a twitter chat with my team, boogie, about content marketing and social media this Friday (Feb 6, 2015). Check it out details here.

3. Sell your unique abilities on Fiverr for $5!

fivver ways to make money 10 Ways to make money online TODAY fivver

Maybe writing or teaching is not for you. Instead, you have a great movie voice or can create an eye-catching whiteboard animation, then Fiverr may be your best option for making money online this year. Fiverr is a marketplace where people from all over the world sell their talents for $5. It may not seem like much but if you’re good at your craft those $5 will eventually add up.

2. Start a YouTube channel, become a creator

youtube ways to make money 10 Ways to make money online TODAY youtube

YouTube is responsible for the success of many of the celebrities that we know today. Let’s look at Soulja Boy, for example, or Justin Beiber. They both got their start on YouTube and look at where they are today… well not Soulja Boy, but you know what I mean. In recent years, YouTube has made it even easier to start building your career through their platform’s partner program.

Ever heard of PewDiePie or Smosh? They both represent just a small percentage of the YouTube creator community. PewDiePie and Smosh both earn over $5 million creating videos about the things they love: video games.

It works like this:

  • You realize that you have a talent or an interest in a specific area, let’s say sports.
  • You begin creating commentary videos about sports and posting them on your YouTube channel.
  • After a few months of posting videos about sports, you start seeing an increase in your views and subscribers. The more subscribers you have, the more videos you want to post.
  • You then reach the point where your videos are averaging more than 1,000 views each.
  • You decide to apply for YouTube’s Partner program.

Once you’re approved, YouTube starts paying you $5 – $7 each time 1000 people watch an ad at the beginning one of your videos. Let’s look at a real life example: PewDiePie averages 5.4 billion views a year, even if only 5% of viewers actually watch the ads… you do the math!

If you don’t think it’s possible, PewDiePie, Smosh, and many other creators should show you over 5 million reasons why you should start a YouTube channel.

1. Start a Blog

startablog ways to make money 10 Ways to make money online TODAY startablog

Ironically, it was this month in 2014, that I bought the domain name JacquesBastien.com and started this blog. Unlike everything on this list, my intention was not to make money (hence the lack of ads on the side of the page). I spent the past 6 years (most of that was in my dorm room) learning and growing my social media agency, boogie. Throughout that time, I’ve learned a lot of valuable things and made a lot of mistakes that has helped me grow more and more each day. With real-life experiences in human resources, design, project management, sales & marketing, writing, and more, I decided to start writing this blog to help entrepreneurs learn vicariously through me.

Throughout the year, however, many companies (and people) contacted me, interested in sponsorship and advertising opportunities. While I wasn’t quite ready to monetize the blog then, it definitely became my focus in 2015. Learn more about my other 2015 plans in my 2014 Year In Review.

When it comes to blogging, there are a lot of options for monetization: selling display ads, creating native content for sponsors, product reviews, and much more. Publications like Inc Magazine, Forbes, Huffington Post, all survive using the monetization options listed above.

So if you have something valuable to say, start a blog (and if you need help getting started, shoot me an email). Or use a compound effect: start a YouTube channel to complement your blog and the content you’ll be posting there. Then when you’ve written pages of blog posts and are ready to share your skills with other people, get in touch with the folks at Scripted and get paid for your writing. But wait, you’ve never written a whitepaper before and you’re not sure if that’s your calling, so then take your skills to Fiverr and write ad copy or catchy taglines for $5.

Once you finish exploring the various platforms where you can monetize your writing skills, you will have enough experience to create a class on Skillshare and call it Creative Writing 101 or How To Start a Blog in 2017.

The world has changed and we need to change with it. I challenge you (yes, YOU), check out the items on this list and start with one thing, for now. If you need some accountability, email me, and I’ll follow up with you to make sure you’re sticking with it.

Don’t forget, as long as you’re always hustlin’, you’ll be alright!

4 advices I had for my younger brother

This post is from my #quickthoughts series; my no-filter, no-proofread, no-spellcheck thoughts on the things happening around me. These thoughts are written as they happen and are intended to be transparent, personal, and (as the kids say) raw! Here goes… (don’t forget, no spellcheck)

My brother turned 21 years old last week and to celebrate, I decided to take him to Las Vegas (to show him the great things that life has to offer).

To be honest, my brother’s an amazing kid (maybe even better than I was) but he does seem to lack a little bit of motivation.

But, I can’t blame him.

My motivation (& passions) came from a need to provide for my siblings after we lost our mother in 2004. Since then, things have been going well and I (and my father) must’ve done something right if he’s not growing up with the same responsibilities that I had.

He has myself, my father and our older sister to call on whenever he needs something so it’s no surprise that my older sister works harder than I do and I work harder than my brother.

At the end of the 5 day long trip, we had a talk and these are the key takeaways/advices that I gave my brother.

  1. Always Keep Learning
    Whether it’s learning a new language, a new skill, or learning from school. You can’t afford to EVER stop learning. The world is moving way too fast.
  2. Stay Productive
    My BIGGEST pet-peeve in life is unproductivity — I can’t stand it. There’s just so much you can be doing with your life. Whether it’s going to the gym, running errands, community service, etc. The more you do, the more opportunities finds you.
  3. Be conscious, be curious — never ignorant
    You can’t zone out in life; whether it’s being on your phone, or being mentally out of the room. So much goes around you that you can’t afford to miss out on. Whether it’s an opportunity to learn from your peers and/or your environments, or whether it’s an opportunity to experience more things in life.
    And for the things you don’t understand… figure it out or ask for clarification. People are nicer than they appear! They love attention so when you ask them questions like “can you explain what you mean by xyz”, they’ll be glad to share.
    But if you really don’t want to ask, go learn it yourself. Don’t forget, boogie was entirely built out of curiosity.
  4. BONUS: Believe in yourself, be yourself!
    We’re all special and we’re all different. For example, I love Joel Gascoigne’s work with buffer and the ideals that he practices with his team. He inspired me to make boogie a four-day-work-week agency. But that doesn’t mean I copy & paste him; instead, I let him transparency inspire me to be a better leader and a better person… You’re not me, and you’re not your older sister. You shouldn’t try to be us. You’d fail really hard! The same way that I’d suck at being you! I wish I could cook like you. Wish I could play basketball like you. I have a fraction of the great heart that you have. But I can’t have those things; they’re you! And I’m me! Mohawk wearing, blazer wearing, low voice speaking ME!

But don’t worry man, you’re going to make it! You don’t need to own a business to be successful. Whatever you choose to do, just be GREAT!

Aight bro, nice chatting. Now let’s go catch that plane back to New York.

5 Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas for Under $20

5 Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas for Under $20

For you see, each day I love you more
Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.

– Rosemonde Gerard


Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. Not only does it give couples the opportunity to show their love for one another, but it also gives us the opportunity to tell our friends, family, and co-workers how much we care about them. Some people like to get very creative when it comes to Valentine’s Day planning, while others take a more simplistic approach to their Valentine’s Day planning.

Last week, me and my wife sat down and spoke about our plans for Valentine’s Day, reminisced on the things that we’ve done in the past, as well as talked about general Valentine’s Day romantic ideas that we have yet to try.

These are the 5 ideas that stood out to us the most.

1. Scavenger hunt for him/her

What you’ll need: Pen, paper, and transportation

While we have never actually done this, Dahcia did put together a mini scavenger hunt for me when she was trying to reveal that she bought me a new apple mouse (something that I really wanted!). She placed various notes around my room, which gave me clues to go downstairs in my car, and that’s when I saw the mouse. The scavenger hunt would be a great way to tell and show your significant other how much you care about them, without actually breaking the bank.

First, you’d have to put together a list of all of the different moments that are significant in your relationship as well as the locations associated with those moments (ie. first kiss, where you proposed, where you had your first argument, etc.). Then, visit each of these locations and leave a note for your significant other letting them know what that location means to your relationship as well as giving them clues to the next location.

Once he/she finds all of the locations, the last clue should lead them to the location you choose to host #2, #3, #4, and the bonus (below).


2. Have a picnic where you first met

What you’ll need: Picnic essentials (bread, ham, lettuce, etc.), and the guts to do this.

Me and Dahcia met on November 16, 2009, at a night club (Don’t judge us!). On November 16, 2012, I decided that I wanted to have a picnic with her at the same place that we met.

I’m pretty sure a story about two young people who had a picnic at a night club would’ve been a great story, but unfortunately, this wasn’t the case here.

Turns out, the nightclub had actually been turned into a supermarket. I asked her to ‘come with me to the supermarket to buy a few more things for the place we were going’. When we finally got the the aisle that I believed to be the aisle where we met, I told her to have a seat… right in the middle of the aisle.

I know what you’re thinking and yes! It looked as ridiculous as it sounded. Luckily, Dahcia loved and appreciated it. She couldn’t stop smiling that entire week and telling her friends all about it.

Think of where you and your significant other first met… are you able to plan a picnic at that location? If the answer is yes, then go for it.

3. Cook a meal together

What you’ll need: Groceries, Yummly (phone app), or Plated.com

What could be more romantic than spending 2 – 3 hours cooking your favorite meal, with your favorite person in the world. This is a great way for couples to learn more about each other while showcasing their creativity in the kitchen. I recommend leaving all electronic devices outside of the kitchen (except if you need it for a recipe).

4. Bring the restaurant to her/him

What you’ll need: Some friends who are talented and single.

When I was a junior in college, I didn’t have much money. I spent my entire Valentine’s week thinking of the perfect romantic idea that I’d be able to put together with a $10 budget—  as you guessed, NOTHING came to mind. So I finally decided that I’d just cook a regular meal and invite Dahcia for dinner.

While cooking my 4 course meal, I had a thought… “why not bring the restaurant to her”. I then called some of my trusty (and single) friends and asked them to help me with my Valentine’s Day activities — in return, I fed them.

In total, I had 5 friends willing to help me out: A DJ, a singer, a poet, a photographer, and one of my best friends; who was the waitress. The amazing night consisted of love songs played by the DJ, poems recited by the poet, songs sang by the singer, photos taken by the photographer, and food cooked by me and served by my best friend.

It was a great evening and Dahcia loved every second of it.

5. Take pictures together and develop them

What you’ll need: A disposable camera or my new app, Authenpic.

In a world full of social sharing, commenting, LIKES, filters, edit options, and basically the strive for perfection, I challenge you to try an alternative route to taking photos this Valentine’s Day. Use a disposable camera, or my new app, Authenpic, to cherish the moments that means so much to you and your significant other. Authenpic lets you take up to 24 pictures using your phone’s camera and once your roll is full, you can print the physical pictures directly from the app and they’ll come to your front door in about a week.

This is a great way to relive the moments that you care about in a much more personable way. If you’re interested, checkout the app here.


Bonus:

While this can’t be achieve with a budget of under $20, I’d also recommend a wedding proposal. If you know your significant other is ‘the one’ then you have no reason to wait any longer.

I proposed to my wife on Valentine’s Day (last year) and it was one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made.

Here’s what I think about young people getting married.

My 2014 Year In Review

My 2014 Year In Review

Happy New Year 2015, I hope your year got off to a great start!

This is my first year in review post and I hope to have more exciting things to share with you as the years go by. My hope is that you join me in celebration of the things that went well, learn from the things that didn’t go so well, and help me stay on track with my plans for 2015.

At the end of each year, I use the things I’ve learned to determine my focus for the upcoming year. For example my focus for 2013 was to build— as in build a strong team of hard working people around me. For 2014, my focus was to learn— as in learn as much as I can with my team in preparation for 2015’s focus, grow— as in I’ve learned a lot and it’s time to start putting that knowledge and experience to good use. (Sidenote: you can never learn too much)

With a focus on learning, 2014 was definitely the year for mistakes. Thankfully, myself, my wife (yes, my wife), and my boogie team embraced all of those mistakes, learned from them, and moved on.

Let’s get to the juicy details…

What went well

Professor?

The year started with a BANG! I got a message from my alma mater, asking me if I was interested in teaching a design course at the University. I briefly talked it over with my wife (girlfriend at the time… more on this later) and I decided to accept the position. At the time of writing this, I’m up to my third semester teaching and I’ve met some amazing students. Some who are now interning at boogie, and others who have started their own businesses. I’ll be honest to say, it’s been an amazing experience so far. They seem to like me. We even have a cool little website too.

Writing & This Website

On January 7, 2014, I went to bluehost.com and purchased JacquesBastien.com. After 4 years of designing, coding, strategizing, and running boogie, I decided that it was time for me to finally start sharing some of my knowledge and experience with the world.

“It also helps that I talk a lot.”

And just like that, JacquesBastien.com (this blog) was launched. In the beginning, my intentions were to just write one educational blog post a month and see where things go from there. Soon after launching the blog, I realized that wasn’t possible. I noticed how helpful the articles had become for my friends and family, my students, and other like-minded entrepreneurs around the web and that called for more consistency. I even started interviewing entrepreneurs and sharing their startup stories. Some of those were Melanie Canva, CEO of design tool, Canva, and Lori Cheek, Founder of dating app Cheek’d (which was featured on SharkTank). But to date, my most popular post so far has been…

5 Reasons you SHOULDN’T get married in your 20’s (more on that later)

Mrs Bastien?

This year I decided to grow up, be a man, and propose to marry my college sweetheart, Dahcia Lyons-Bastien. This is how it happened.

On the Tuesday February 11 (week of Valentine’s Day), while teaching my design class, I was on my laptop checking my email (don’t worry, the students were working on a group project). While checking the email, I saw a press callout “looking for amazing true stories of entrepreneurs who have been supported by the loves in their lives as they pursued their goals”. The requirements were pretty straight forward, and had to be kept between 100 – 150 words. So I thought to myself, “oh that’s simple, let me write this thing really quick… probably will take about 15 minutes”.

… 45 minutes and about 1000 words later, I realized that I couldn’t really say all I needed to say about Dahcia in under 150 words.

And that’s when I realized it was time for me to grow up and do what I’ve always had in my heart to do, propose to Dahcia.

I added a note at the end of my very long response to the callout; saying if they (Inc Magazine) chose to run my story, I’d like to add a marriage proposal at the end of the article.

And that’s exactly what happened! Here’s the link to the article.

The next morning, I had to make the most difficult phone call I’ve ever had to make in my life. I’ve been involved in long 7hr+ meetings with big executives, I’ve been in the same room with fortune 1000 company executives pitching them new ideas, but the most difficult (and intimidating) thing I’ve ever had to muster enough courage to do, was to calling Dahcia’s parents to ask them for their daughter’s hand in marriage. Luckily, it went well.

Note To Self: Man Up!

Anyways, the article posted on that same day at around 3:00pm and my friend Bill M. did a great job with it. Knowing how big of a day the next day was, I made sure to cut Dahcia’s hair the Thursday before Valentine’s Day (yeah, I’m her barber… she helps me shape-up the back of my hair, big deal!). But, I was a little bummed that the article only used about 35 words from the 1000 words that I submitted— I just wanted to say a little more. So that same Thursday night, I sat next to Dahcia (she didn’t know what I was doing), self-edited the piece that I wrote, and added a little bit more to it. I reformatted it as a letter and called it Dear Dahcia.

It was ironic that I was sitting there writing the letter because the root of our relationship lies in the fact that she’s the writer in the family and it hurt me so much not being able to ask her things like “what’s another word for appreciate”.

I bought a domain name that same night, grabbed a few photos from our Instagram, and created DearDahcia.com.

I’m going to spare you the details of what happened next, instead, just watch this video that I made.

Then something happened that we never expected *wink wink*. Our wedding proposal video was shared on Huffington Post, Inc Magazine, and the whole internet (ok, maybe not the whole internet). The video garnered about 40,000 views in about 3 days and it was still growing.

I’ll speed up at this point.

The video made its way to some very nice people from Fox News in NYC who loved our story so much that they decided to sponsor our wedding and air it on TV shortly after the ceremony. We found this out early May and the only date that was available at the beautiful Central Park Boathouse was May 22nd, two days before Dahcia’s birthday (that week is going to cost me a lot in the coming years).

So that was it, we got married on May 22nd and lived happily ever after… 😉

jd_banner  My 2014 Year In Review jd bannergettin_married  My 2014 Year In Review gettin married

Here (above) are some pictures of me and my wife on our wedding day. I should probably mention that Galia Lahav also sponsored the wedding gown which was worth $25,000. Read more of our story here.

Exercise / Health

It’s been 2 years since I graduated college and I realized that I put on a few pounds over the years. Nothing crazy, I was still able to see my abs, I just wanted to get a bit more defined. So around March, I decided to slightly change my habits (eating, working out) and started living a healthier lifestyle. I eat as clean as I can during the week and I cheat on Saturdays (and sometimes Sundays). It helps that my wife also joined the journey with me as well.

I competed in a few races (Spartan race, Mud Run, etc) and all in all, I saw a loss of 20 lbs in the course of 2 months.

I’d post a picture but it’s probably NSFW 😉

Spirituality

One of my goals in 2014 was to build an even stronger relationship with my Father/mentor (not my biological dad). When two people put God at the center of their relationship (and also their business), things will ALWAYS work itself out. Me and my wife started teaching Sunday school at our church when we were needed, I joined the dance ministry, and we even started tithing (10% of our income) later on in the year. I truly believe those were all the reasons why 2014 was one of, if not the, best year that I’ve had thus far.

Books

As I previously mentioned, this year was the year of learning. After running away from reading my entire life, I finally found something that worked for me; audiobooks. I created an account with Audible and started looking for books. I used my first book credit to buy and listen to the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris and since then, I couldn’t stop reading. I went on to reading lots of books like The E-Myth Revisited, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and many many more. I now read listen to around 1-2 books a month and have started writing my own book as well (more on that below).

Speaking Engagements

With the creation of my new blog, recently became a professor, and really optimizing my social channels, I received a lot of press, interview inquiries, and some speaking engagements. I spoke to students about it not being too early to start building a business, I spoke to social media folks about viral marketing, and I even spoke to a group of executives about firing my best designer.

I didn’t have intentions on making a profit so I didn’t charge anyone but who knows, maybe that’ll change next year.

boogie

“boogie boogie boogie can’t you see, sometimes your world just hypnotize me…”

It was a great year for boogie (though I admit it didn’t start out that way). On January 1st, after 4 years, I decided to drop the “graphics” and change the company’s name to “boogie” (with the lowercase ‘b’). The new boogie represented change, and our readiness to learn. With our new name came a few website changes and a complete overhaul to our social media identity.

I also changed my management style as well. Trying to build a better company and a better lifestyle, I started writing down official company manuals of how to run the company in my absence. I wrote nearly 10,000 words this year in documents and guides such as ‘how we get new business’ to ‘how to on-board a new client’.

On July 1st, we got ourselves a second office in Brooklyn, NY (Williamsburg) at a co-work space called The Yard. We had a gross revenue increase of 35.5% with a net profit growth of 100%. (Maybe I’ll share real numbers with you next year). We ended the year off with a banging content marketing strategy and are planning on launching our new website in early 2015.

Oh yea, we were also featured in many publications i.e. Forbes, Inc, Huffington Post, Social Media Today, and many more. Mostly talking about how amazing my mohawk looks (haha, not true at all). Most of our features were from some of our articles like Social media Agency vs In-House Person and from the fact that we stopped working on Wednesdays!

But all in all, great year of learning for me and my team.

Partnerships

I made a few partners this year as well. It started with StyleHotels.com which is a great source for finding luxury hotels. Great concept and happy to have joined. Then it was casedup.co, a young female entrepreneur from Jacksonville, FL asked me to join the company in hopes of working towards expansion. Cased Up sells phone accessories with a focus on pop culture inspired designs. Lastly it was Authenpic, a beautiful concept from one of my first semester students. I was honored to join a company that I had a tad bit to do with it starting; whether it’s convincing Mari that anything is possible at a young age or some of the tools that I introduced the students to. Authenpic turns your phone into a disposable camera and for $9.99 we’ll ship your 24 photos to your mailbox. Did I mention that you can’t see the photos until you receive them in the mail?

I also got involved with two other startups that I can’t legally talk about… yet.

What didn’t go so well

At the beginning of the year I was mentally broken. After coming back from one of the worst Q4’s in history of Q4’s and having to let go of two very good friends of mine, I didn’t start the year off very motivated.

But everything happens for a reason and we’re all still great friends. In fact, one of those friends was part responsible for our 35.5% growth because of a specific client that he helped bring to boogie.

Moving on.

Rookie Mistakes

At boogie, we judge ourselves on an impossible scale. The hope is that while we’re striving for the impossible so we can at least reach perfect along the way. With that said, we noticed a lot of rookie mistakes; especially earlier in the year. From missing a deadlines, not providing as much value as we could’ve provided, not charging enough for our services, and even accepting projects that we know we’ve outgrown. I learned that if I wanted to grow boogie (2015’s goal), I could no longer be our lead designer, developer and CEO at the same time. This led me to writing one of my favorite articles of the year, Why I Fired My Best Designer (read it here).

Finances

While our income grew by 100% this year (compared to last), I didn’t quite reach the financial goal that I wanted to reach. So this prevented me from traveling, saving, and giving back as much as I wanted to… I still did a little bit of all of those though.

In 2015, with a focus on growth, it will be a much better year, financially.

PrettySimpl

Who? At the end of the year 2013, I founded a startup called PrettySimpl. PrettySimpl was going to be similar to moo.com but more user-friendly, fun, and mobile- made specifically for designers and startups. I worked on designs, I temporarily got a small team to work on development, and had started building the product. I even had gotten a $1 million partnership offer from someone who loved the concept.

Unfortunately, time wasn’t my friend this year. I didn’t have as much time as I wanted to run two startups, so I had to decline the offer, cross my fingers, and hope it’s still available in 2015… so I can get back to paying my student loans.

My plans for 2015

Okay, now that we’re past the sad news *turns off violin*, let’s get into some plans.

Boogie

This year the focus is simple, GROW. We’re hoping to grow in revenues by 200% and continue growing our team. We’re ALWAYS looking for talented folks to join our team so if you are looking (or know someone) Tweet me.

And a little birdie told me that we’re trying to get a satellite office in LA this year too. I’ll keep you posted.

Breadcrumbs

Oh boy Jacques, not another one. I can’t help it, I see an opportunity, a problem, or a need, I try to create a solution. And that’s what breadcrumbs is. You’ll learn more about Breadcrumbs as the year goes by but in short, it’s a way to help small businesses get professional looking (custom) websites for about $200 monthly. This is very early in process but here’s the website to keep tabs on (get it?… no?… ok, never mind) it’s trybreadcrumbs.com

JacquesBastien.com (This website)

This year I plan to monetize this blog (still deciding how since there are so many options). Since I’m a designer, I’m not too fond of ads… they’ll mess up the look of the site. So I’ll figure out the best solution. I also plan on continuing to grow my audience, email subscribers, active readers, and that kind of thing.

I also plan on providing you with a lot (and I mean a lot) more valuable content. Very personable as well. For example one article I’ll be writing may be called “After I signed the lease to my first office, I had no savings, and $250 bucks in my bank account.” This will be a blog post about risk-taking and also letting you know that we’re no different and you CAN get started right away.

There’s also going to be another blog post called “10 ways to make money online”… that should help a few people get started.

#FakeItMakeIt

I started writing my first book, Fake It Make It in 2014 but didn’t get a chance to finish it. Fake it Make It is the story of my entrepreneurial journey and the older I got, the more experience I got the more I realized that everything we see on the web is all about connecting and knowing things. The purpose of the book is similar to the blog, to give you some secrets I’ve learned over the years that can help you start your company, get funding, get press, etc.

If you’re interested in reading this I’d love it if you could email me letting me know of your interest. My email address is me[at]myfullname.com (my attempt at preventing spam)

Travel

And lastly, travel. I didn’t get to travel as much as wanted to last year. I was really busy most of the time and I don’t know if it was the best thing to spend money on. I plan on changing all of that in 2015. Since me and Dahcia work together, sometimes we go on short work-cations where we spend a few days working in another city and at night, we go out. It’s like merging a vacation with work. We plan on doing a lot of more of those and hopefully take it out the country.

I plan on culture chasing this year (which is my clever word for going to visit different cultures). I’ll keep you all posted on how that turns out.

And it’s not just traveling, I’d like to enjoy myself a little more this year in general. I turn 25 this weekend and I think I’m going to start there. I’ve worked really hard over the years, it’s time that I have a little fun.

If you made it this far, thank you for reading.

If you liked this review, please SHARE it with a friend (or two) it may be helpful to them.

While I’m not where I plan to be in life, I’m very happy with where I am right now. At a young age, I’m thankful and fortunate enough to be conscious! I’m conscious of finances, conscious of people, conscious of my time, conscious of my health, conscious of my future. As I previously said, I try aiming for impossible, in hopes of at least reaching perfect along the way.

Thanks for reading!

My own little ad:
If you’re interested in building a personal brand, I’m starting a new series on the Building a Personal Brand using social media. I’ll be starting next week. Learn more here.

How I helped give a local not-for-profit a $25,000 Gym Makeover

How I helped give a local not-for-profit a $25,000 Gym Makeover

It’s the most wonderful time of year. Snow on the ground, laughter in the air, cookies everywhere and stockings hung by the chimney with care. ‘Tis the season to give back, and we did just that by partnering with VENT Fitness to help give an Albany area non-profit organization an Extreme Gym Makeover valued at $25,000.

About 2 months ago VENT Fitness, one of our clients, approached us about partnering with them and several other local companies for the first ever VENT sponsored Extreme Gym Makeover project.

With only a week to design, develop and deploy a landing page for the Extreme Gym Makeover project we quickly finalized our copy, crossed our T’s, dotted our IP addresses and launched extremegymmakeover.com on November 1st.

Over the course of the entire campaign the site received several thousand views and we received two dozen nominations of qualified applicants for the Extreme Gym Makeover. All of the nominees were great organizations with great missions, like the Capital City Rescue Mission and the Albany Police Athletic League, which let me tell you, did not make the deliberation process easy.

makeover How I helped give a local not-for-profit a $25,000 Gym Makeover

We set out with VENT Fitness to help them find a deserving local non-profit organization in need of updated fitness equipment and a structural update of their fitness area. After on-site visits to all four Extreme Gym Makeover finalists’ locations, ultimately the decision of who should win came down to selecting the nominee who had the strongest combination of need and impact.

628x4711 makeover How I helped give a local not-for-profit a $25,000 Gym Makeover

On December 22 the winner of the first Extreme Gym Makeover was announced: the Watervliet Civic Center. The Watervliet Civic Center is a non-profit youth organization established in 1946 that serves 700 of the area’s youth aged 4-18 on a year-round basis.

628x4712 makeover How I helped give a local not-for-profit a $25,000 Gym Makeover 1

All of the nominees were deserving, but we’re especially glad that the Watervliet Civic Center won considering our content strategist, Casey, lives literally down the street from it.

All of us at boogie are so thankful to VENT Fitness for allowing us to be part of this rewarding process and look forward to being apart of more philanthropic ventures in the future.

5 Reasons you SHOULDN’T get married in your 20s

5 Reasons you SHOULDN’T get married in your 20s

As you may know, me and my wife, Dahcia, got married on May 22, 2014– about 2.5 months ago. I proposed on Valentine’s Day (this year) and shortly after posting the video of how it happened online- it went viral, garnering over 40k views in one week.

Here’s the video:

Three short months after the proposal, we were saying ‘I do!’

The proposal made its way to some amazing people who loved our story so much that they decided to sponsor our entire wedding. From photography and venue, to makeup and a $25k wedding gown, everything was paid for. The wedding ceremony was even filmed and it aired on Fox News NY a month after the wedding.

So now, I’ve been married for 2.5 months and I wanted to share the five things I wish I knew before getting married.

1. You’re forced to find yourselves and grow together

Look, I’m 24 years old and Dahcia is 23. It’s safe to say that we still have some growing to do. Now be honest, do you really want to be on a journey to find yourself with somebody else tagging along? It’s already implied in the phrase, find YOURself.

Wouldn’t you rather just grow all by yourself? Life is full of challenges that are made to help us improve both mentally and spiritually- I don’t know about you but I’d much rather face these challenges all by myself. Who needs help and support from someone who loves and cares about them, right?

2. You won’t get to sleep around

Now this is a big one. Having an intimate relationship with the same person for the rest of your life? But you’re young! Isn’t sleeping around what you’re supposed to do when you’re young? I mean, yes, there’s the chance that you can contract a sexually transmitted disease or infection and have to deal with whatever else is out there… But c’mon, you’re young, you have your whole life ahead of you.

3. You have to share everything!

Remember that diet you’ve been meaning to get on or that new car that you wanted to buy? Well, being married means your significant other might just join you on that healthy eating journey or even help you purchase that car. Here’s the problem- it’s YOUR diet. It’s YOUR car. They’re YOUR bills. All yours. Like I said- too much sharing.

4. You may end up being a young grandparent

Let’s say you wind up getting married at 22 and have a child two years later… fast forward 25 years- your oldest child is now in his mid-twenties, married, and expecting a child of his own.

It’s insane! You’re now in your 50s and you have a grandchild. Who would ever want to be grandparent in their fifties and have the chance to play basketball or baseball with their grand kids… or even teach them a thing or two about baking?

No sir, not me. I’ll pass.

5. Happiness is overrated

Statistics say married men are 135% happier than single men. But happiness is overrated. I mean who needs a loving and caring partner?

If you’ve stuck around, you probably think this article should really be called “5 Reasons you SHOULD get married in your 20s”.

Although I’ve known Dahcia for 5 years prior to being married, I can’t even tell you how much happier we’ve been since getting married.

There’s just something about having someone who understands you, trusts you, cares about you, and is willing to grow with you.

Dahcia and I do everything together and it’s great! We workout together, we go to church together, we write together (this article, among other things), we binge watch TV shows together, we laugh together, we gossip together, we travel together, we pray together, we read together, and we even work together.

If you’re in your 20s and you’re thinking about getting married, I’d say go for it! Life is too short to hold out on the amount of happiness you will have with your new husband/wife.

Of course, just make sure they’re truly the one for you.

If you’d like to read our story or watch our videos, visit our website or click the image below.

jd_banner married 5 Reasons you SHOULDN'T get married in your 20s jd banner

We’d love to hear from other young couples out there. Tell us in a comment below your thoughts on getting married in your 20s.

5 Ways to Successfully Master Texting and Driving

5 Ways to Successfully Master Texting and Driving

If you’re reading this then, like me, you’re guilty of texting and driving.

But let’s face it, the world has changed. Just 10 years ago, 65% of American adults owned a cell phone. Now, the number has rose to upwards of 90%. Ninety percent! That means out of every 10 adults, 9 of them own a cell phone.

To make matters worst, it’s been proven that 85% of us, around the world, can’t go a whole day without our cell phones. Are you a part of the 15%? I know I’m not.

My cell phone is probably with me 24/7. It’s my camera, my notebook, my calculator, my alarm clock, my television, my music player and more. I even started writing this post from my cell phone. So I know I’m a part of that 85%.

When that very important text message comes in, of course the right thing to do is answer it.

Yeah yeah yeah… but let’s be honest, texting while driving is inevitable. We all do it! Even the police text and drive. And although we try over and over to stop, certain things are just way too important and basically can’t wait.

So I decided… why not just share some of my successful tactics to texting while driving. Hopefully, these will keep you out of harms way next time you’re on the road.

texting and driving texting and driving 5 Ways to Successfully Master Texting and Driving txtndrv

Great, now that I have your attention, listen up!

Texting while driving is deadly. Seriously, don’t do it. We owe it to ourselves and the other drivers on the road to NOT text while driving.

While writing this post, about 150 car crashes happened in the US. Out of that 150, about 30 of them were texting and driving related. Tell you the truth, there’s been about 10 car crashes alone, involving texting and driving, since you started reading this article. Actually… make that 11.

Texting while driving is dangerous and what ever it may be, It Can Wait. It definitely could’ve waited for Wil, who’s now brain damaged because of a crash resulting from texting and driving.

Take a look:

Or what about what happened to little innocent Xzavier:

Nothing is that important that it can’t wait… especially when the decision to text and drive can kill both yourself and others

By the way, 4 more texting and driving crashes just happen…. nope, make that 5.

Share this post with your friends, family, and social networks and let’s attempt to put an end to texting and driving.

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#TBT – My first commercial for my college barbershop

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I decided to share one of the first commercials that I created… for my barbershop in college. This commercial was created in 2011.

DearDahcia.com: My Wedding Proposal Went Viral

DearDahcia.com: My Wedding Proposal Went Viral

On February 14 2014 (V-Day), I proposed to my girlfriend, Dahcia (VP of strategy for Boogie).

With the help of friends, family, Bill Murphy Jr. (Inc Magazine) and Northeastern Fine Jewelers (Albany, NY), the proposal was a success.

Here’s the website that I used to propose to her www.deardahcia.com

Here’s the video detailing how it all happened.

Update (3/14) –
– Since the video release, I’ve gotten lots of messages from people congratulating me and Dahcia. I’m extremely honored.

– The video went viral on YouTube, garnering about 22k views (at the time I wrote this)

– Huffington post did a story on this entitled It Took Five Marriage Proposals For This Woman To Get The Hint

– Inc Magazine also did a story on this entitled 5 Ways Smart Entrepreneurs Find True Love and Happiness and let’s not forget the initial proposal article.

– Clutch Magazine also wrote a piece called Five Marriage Proposals Later & She Said Yes

– And a lot of other blogs and publications wrote about it including, Madame Noire, Pal Beach Daily News, AJC (Atlanta Journal), Perez, Rob Bre, and many many many more… no space to name them all.

– Thank you to everyone for the support. We love you (you know, in a ‘Hi, we’re friends’ kind of way) #JacquesDahcia