Luke Storey, Founder of The Life Stylist and School of Style

1:17:58
 
Share
 

Manage episode 210354515 series 2359021
By Roxana Rafatjah. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Luke Storey is probably one of the most extreme and obsessive, yet astoundingly knowledgeable, intuitive and charismatic people out there in the biohacking world. But above all, his entrepreneurial drive has been apparent along his tumultuous journey to where he is today.

From a sordid past of substance abuse and drug dealing (that he speaks about with refreshing honesty and humor), to complete sobriety and building two successful businesses that he runs today, Luke is transforming his propensity for addictive behaviors into a platform to expose the world to the most innovative, (sometimes wacky), yet effective practices for achieving “the ultimate lifestyle” by optimizing health, wellness and consciousness.

A former fashion stylist in Hollywood, Luke created the first-ever intensive training-based fashion school, School of Style to teach aspiring fashion stylists how to navigate the industry. And he continues to co-manage this business as he pursues growing his true passion through The Life Stylist podcast. And there is sure to be much more ahead of him, including classes and retreats, as he expands himself as a brand.

Below is our conversation about how working for Aerosmith inspired Luke to stay sober, his 3-phase business model for success, his fast-track to monetization, and what his most valuable biohacks are.

Conversations Banner.jpg

Click here to listen on iTunes - Apple Podcasts

Recognitions:

Topics discussed in this conversation include:

  • Beginning a career as a Hollywood fashion stylist
  • The Life Stylist Podcast and how it came to fruition
  • Profitability
  • A history of substance abuse, drug dealing and how an encounter working for Aerosmith inspired him to stay committed to sobriety
  • What made School of Style so successful
  • Luke's 3-stage business model for reaching profitability super quickly
  • How to get major sponsors for a podcast
  • Lukes favorite bio-hacks
  • Valuing success and what creates success
  • The importance of conscious intentions
  • Advice for other entrepreneurs

Bio:

Luke Storey is a former celebrity fashion stylist- turned public speaker, podcaster, and entrepreneur, who has spent the past 20 years relentlessly searching the world over to design the ultimate lifestyle through his extensive, and sometimes obsessive, personal research and development.

Using The Life Stylist Podcast as his delivery platform, Luke continues to share his strategies for healing, happiness, and high-performance living each week so that listeners can use this knowledge to design their ultimate lifestyle.

Luke's show features the biggest experts in the fields of health, spirituality, and personal development. Past guests have included experts like Dave Asprey, David Wolfe, Ben Greenfield, Jack Kruse, John Gray and Daniel Vitalis.

Luke’s show covers an ever-expanding range of topics including sex and relationships, yoga, meditation, smart drugs, health myths and medical conspiracies, spirituality, food and supplementation, herbalism, alternative medicine, and biohacking technologies and tactics.

As a public speaker, Luke has appeared on stage with current thought leaders such as Tim Ferris, and Neil Strauss. He is known for his raw, down to earth delivery, and sometimes extreme health practices.

Luke currently works one on one with private clients and continues to act as CEO at School of Style, the world’s most prominent school for fashion stylists, which he founded in 2008.

You can find Luke and his work at: http://www.lukestorey.com

On social media find him at @mrlukestorey on Twitter and Facebook, and @lukestorey on Instagram.


I want to hear about all the things that you are working on. It sounds like you're juggling a lot at the moment.

Tell me about The Life Stylist podcast first.

God, yeah, there is a lot going on when you put it like that. Where do I start? I do things so intensely that I create a lot of work out of projects that could be somewhat simple. For example, the recording that I did today with Light Watkins, my guest… I was running a little bit behind and I could have just set up two microphones and just had a conversation and called it a day. But if he's gonna be here, I'm going to make a YouTube video with my video camera. I'm going to post to my Facebook group on my iPad and I have a spare iPhone that I use for Instagram-Live, like I'm doing right now on this one.

And so I kind of just maximize everything, which is what you're seeing. So yeah, there's a lot of productivity going on. But The Life Stylist Podcast - I launched the first one June 6th, 2016, so I'm creeping up in a few months here on my two year mark. And the idea with the podcast was to share with the world, all of the things (and there are many of the things) that I've learned about health and wellness, on the physical plane as well as spiritual and metaphysical things that I've been exploring and practicing for the past 21 years. So there are all these people that I've read and listened to another podcast and listen to an audio programs and watch their videos. And I know that a lot of people are largely unaware of some of these people because many of them are on the obscure side.

And if you're not really into that chosen topic, be it meditation or biohacking or whatever, you'd likely never come across their work. Especially because my background is in the fashion and entertainment industry. So a lot of my “scene” and following on social media were largely unaware of some of the things that I was into on the side. So it was a big sort of pivot that I did at 45 years old and just decided to kind of reinvent myself, even though I was into all of this stuff privately. I never tried to make a business out of it or anything like that. So the podcast was my first foray into seeing how the public would respond to my point of view on building the ultimate lifestyle, and just sharing the things that I've discovered that really helped me over the years.

You know, it is just really good timing. And we can talk about the fashion school that I own too, because that's another huge part of my life. But when I started the fashion school, no one really knew what a "fashion stylist" was. And I had been doing that professionally for 10 years at that point. And when I started the school, I started to see that there was this trend where more and more people wanted to do that as a career. But there was nowhere to go to really learn how to do it.

No one in the industry would let you in if you were an outsider. It was very insulated. And, I didn't know it at the time, but I did my first class on November 8th, 2008 and November 9th, 2008 was the launch of a little show called the Rachel Zoe Project.

So yeah, it was crazy, right? I, I didn't know that until years later. I started the school and I was like, wow, all of a sudden everyone wants to do what I do for a living.

And it's worked much the same way when I made the decision that I wanted to teach people about all the things that I've learned through my podcast. I realized everyone in the world, and especially a lot of younger people, (I'm 47 now), so there are people that I'm like, wow, there are kids that are in their late teens, early twenties or whatever. And they're super into herbalism and ayurveda and acupuncture and float tanks and biohacking and meditation and ayahuasca, and all of this stuff. I mean, it's like taking care of yourself now is trendy, which is weird and great at the same time. It’s really good timing because I'm an OG with so much of this stuff being into it for so many years, I just take it for granted. Like “duh” everyone [must know] this stuff I know. But I'm realizing that I actually have a pretty rich body of knowledge and experience – that also happens to be really popular at this moment. So it's been another fortuitous kind of timing thing for me to pursue this as a business rather than just [using my knowledge to just] improve my own life and the lives of my close friends and family.

So tell me about how you got started with your first business, School of Style?

School of Style is like my first born baby, and I feel so fortunate for the timing, and fortunate that a year into it I got a business partner -- my partner Lauren Messiah who's just been hugely instrumental in growing the business and sort of filled in the gaps for the things that I was lacking as a business owner and entrepreneur.

But the bottom line is I'm not a great employee. It’s hard for me to be motivated to help someone else build their vision, you know. And so I was an assistant fashion stylist for a few years and I was pursuing music, so I wasn't really motivated to become a big stylist myself. I've watched many of my peers like Monica Rose and people like that, who are now literally the biggest stylists in the world; and I was like, good for them. I don't want to be that stressed out. So I was just playing music. I’d go on tour and then I'd work as an assistant stylist. But because it wasn't my dream, I enjoyed that role because I still got to pursue my dream and be creative and make music and be doing my meditation retreats and all this stuff I was doing.

Would you say at that point, you were still dealing with a lot of substance abuse problems and things like that?

That was before. Yeah, that was a little earlier in the journey. I got sober when I was 26 years old in 1997. Actually it was just 21 years on February 15th. That's the anniversary of the first day I woke up and didn't put anything in my veins. Other than non-mind-altering herbs – I still put a lot sometimes intravenously. [laughing because it’s true!] Strangely enough.

But I was working on myself and that's really how I became a stylist in the first place because I got sober. I mean, I had dropped out of high school and the only jobs I ever had were being a waiter at which I became totally unemployable at a certain point. I just literally couldn't show up anywhere and not be too wasted to perform even menial tasks. And then it was a drug dealer.

I drove prostitutes around and collected their money on calls. I did really weird stuff. Most of it illegal. You know what -- it's funny, I say School of Style was my first entrepreneurial venture, but actually dealing drugs was my first one. It's kind of funny, but I was really good at marketing, so I sold weed and mushrooms and stuff and I had really good strategies looking back. I'm like, I was actually pretty smart because what I would do is, I wouldn't just sell one grade of weed. I would have five or six different levels at all times. So I’d have really cheap, inexpensive, we used to call it like gas tank, weed from Mexico. Literally. Sometimes it would smell like gas because it was smuggled in a gas tank, I mean super toxic, moldy, really crappy weed. And then I'd have the most high-end, chronic, like legit weed. And then I'd have a few middle ranges.

And so I was a really popular dealer in Hollywood. I sold to a lot of the big famous musicians in the neighborhood that will remain unnamed for anonymity and protection. But yeah, I was really good at and that was really good at marketing. I would go to parties and I would post up in the middle of the party and I would just start blazing huge joints and just get a huge crowd around me. And then I started passing out my little cards or whatever and my phone would be blown up. So that was my first foray. But I digress.

I did eventually clean up my act. But how I got into being a stylist was… I had a friend that I'd met in the early nineties, when I was doing a little modeling and stuff, and her name is Keki Mingus, and she's still around but it's no longer a stylist.

But she was a stylist, and I was homeless when I got sober because that's how I rolled, and I didn't have anywhere to stay. So she offered me a housesitting gig to take care of her dog while she went on tour for two or three months with Tina Turner. And so I took over her really beautiful apartment in Koreatown here in LA, and it was like the nicest apartment I think I'd ever been in, let alone slept in! It was like Beverly Hillbillies, y’know? I was like oh my God, it's like a two bedroom just for her? I was so ghetto as the time. But as fate would have it, as I was staying there in her place and almost killed her dog and I mean, I could go on for an hour just with all the mishaps of early sobriety…

I was so damaged and deranged from harming myself for so long. I was barely functional. But, luckilyy for me, she didn't know anyone else in LA because she just moved here from New York. So she came back in town. I was still saying there. I got a little apartment. She was like, “Oh, guess what? I got booked as Aerosmith’s stylist”. And she landed [Aerosmith as a] client. So here I am like two, three months sober. I can barely put a sentence together. I'm just totally brain-dead, totally incapable of taking care of myself as an adult because I never had, really. And she, God bless her, was desperate enough to hire me to be her assistant. So I jumped right in. I was a musician, so I was playing in bands and then my day job was working for Aerosmith.

It was just the weirdest life ever. What was really cool and another beautiful gift from the universe: They happened to be sober at the time,

Aerosmith was sober?

Yeah! They were some of my childhood heroes. I grew up in the seventies, so it was Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin, ACDC, those were the bands.

What a rarity! To fall upon a sober rock’n’roll band.

Isn’t that crazy? And it actually really helped me and inspire me because I felt like such a square and a nerd for quitting drugs, even though it was so ludicrous because I was actually such a loser because I did drugs. I felt like that was part of my identity and I was like, I'm a musician, I'm Hollywood. I'm cool. I live in the underground. I was really into the dark side, you know, the crime and bad neighborhoods, just danger and weird vibes and weird toxic stuff.

And so to see people that were successful and wealthy and living the dream – they were huge at that time. This was like the late nineties. They were having a comeback and I'll never forget Keki - it was really sweet of her. One day she and I went over to the sunset marquis, which is where we would like post up and that's where the band stayed and we had a big suite to keep all the wardrobe and it was my job to kind of hang around there. And I even slept there sometimes because I was homeless [he laughs reminiscing almost in disbelief] I’d crash out in their room and order filet mignon room service. I mean you can't understand how dope that was for me, coming from where I came from, you know? Anyway, one day she's like, hey, we're over here. It's kind of a down day.

I'm just hanging out with Steven in his bungalow if you want to come hang out and really meet him. Because I'd been working with them, but it was like, “here's your pants, sir!” You know, I never interfaced with them or got to know them or anything. And it was one of the most cool moments in my life. And I went over and just hung out with him for a few hours and talked about how to be sober and play in a band and that it's actually really cool to be sober. You don't have to be embarrassed. He would tell me you don’t have to be ashamed, and I could still play in bands, and be rock and roll and be cool and have tattoos but just not be a junkie. And it was revolutionary to me at the time and it was really inspiring. If and when I run into Steven, I can't wait to share that with him, that he really helped me because I was like, wow, I could go play in a band and still be kind of normal, but not behave in those ways that I was, and I didn't have to live in the darkness in order to be cool or to be rock and roll.

So, that's how I got into styling. And then I worked for her and a number of other stylists for years until eventually started picking up my own clients and was working with Kanye West and The Foo Fighters and No Doubt and all these big bands through the mid to late 2000’s. Anyways, 10 years into my career, it was when digital music kind of crashed.

And so a lot of the budgets on those types of jobs that I was working on started to just get killed because record sales died. That was like Napster and all that stuff. When music went digital, the music industry just tanked. And so I was like, shit, they're not giving me enough money on my job, these music videos and stuff, to hire an assistant. So I started hiring interns that I didn't have to pay. And I was like, oh this is dope for them. I bring them on some huge music video. They get to learn and get that experience, and then I get help that the label won't pay for. And so I was like, God, so many kids apply to these job postings that I would put on craigslist. I literally would have to run home from work and like shut the ad down. All the emails would like break the internet – it was so many people.

And I thought, hmm, there's this demand there. There's no one to teach them. No one of the fashion schools taught styling. No other stylists [are teaching styling, which is a] very competitive industry. So I thought, you know what, I had been doing real estate seminars and boot camps and things like that. And as someone who really didn't do well in school, I just hated it. Our education system is not in alignment with the way my brain works, but I really like seminars. I like deep dives, going in for a weekend and doing 12 hours a day and just go hardcore and just walking away with the information and the ability to apply it. So I thought, oh, I could do my own bootcamps or my own seminars where I give people my 10 years worth of experience in a really short period of time and then actually connect them with jobs instead of just sending them out on their own. And so I started. Yeah, I had my first class. I know there's like 12 people in there and I had a janky little website. It looked like a freaking Nigerian money laundering scheme. I mean it was totally not legit at all.

So it was about 10 years or so into my career. So we're in our tenth year now. Yeah. And I can tell you more about how that's evolved because it's pretty amazing what we've been able to accomplish and I'm very grateful for it. But anyway, I launched the class and I was like, oh my God, this is working. And so I started adding more dates and then I moved, you know, the first house I borrowed like a cool house in the Hollywood hills and a friend of mine owned as a vacation rental. And so he let me borrow it and I did a couple of classes there. Then I moved into like a real estate office in Culver City, which was super ratchet. And then eventually because I was signed with the agency at Smashbox Studios, I started renting space from them so I could bring the students into these super high end legit photo studios and there are celebrities running around doing photo shoots.

And it was a really cool experience for the students, and School of Style just started really blowing up and it was just largely due to timing and scarcity of that information. And I was able to not only teach students how to get into the industry and really behind the curtain, the behind the scenes of how it really works. But then I would contact all of my really famous stylist friends and get them to hire our students. And that was like, that was the real power move. Cause I could then use that in my marketing. Now my student roles in from North Dakota at 20 years old, doesn't even know anything about fashion, and the next week she's on a Beyonce video or working with Kim Kardashian or whatever.

What do you think it was that made School of Style so successful? There are so many entrepreneurs that jump into whatever careers they have at hand and they don't really make it like that.

I'm a really dedicated person when I put my mind to something. Once I decide I'm going to do something, there's not a lot that can get in my way. So that's part of it. Another thing was just timing and I think my initial vision of just realizing that there was this huge demand in the industry and that none of the fashion schools we're serving that demand at all, and still to this day really aren't. So I even went and worked at FITEM for awhile as an instructor here, which is kind of like the LA equivalent of FIT or Parsons or something like that. And that was years into School of Style – I just got offered the job and I thought it'd be a personal challenge. As someone that dropped out of high school, didn't go to college; I'm going to go be an instructor or professor at a fashion school, the biggest fashion school on the west coast.

I was like, that's a cool thing to explore. So I went and did that and realized that the model of teaching, of traditional fashion schools, is antiquated and ineffective and just the way that they teach is --it's not real. It's theoretical, it's not based in like the way things currently are in the industry.

And then also another thing that contributed to our success was a, as I mentioned earlier, the relationships that I had within the industry from just being in there and grinding and meeting so many people that I was able to be the bridge between our students and the industry in a way that no fashion school would be able to do because they're a big corporate entity. And I'm just this Guy Luke like, oh everyone loves Luke Story. He's cool. Yeah, he's gonna send me a bunch of interns . So the students are really happy. The stylists and the styling agencies really responded well to what I was doing because I was then sending them assistants and interns that had the right kind of training.

So I identified what those more cloaked and nuance skills weren't emphasized, teaching those to make our students more marketable to the veterans in the industry. So that was part of it. And then thirdly and lastly, I would say that I was just really fortunate to get a great business partner a year into starting the school.

Then my partner Lauren came to take the classes, as a student, she emailed me Sunday night: hey, you probably don't remember me but I was in your class this weekend.

[She offered a lot of blunt constructive criticism like] you have no social media presence, and I would really love to intern for you and help you. And I was like, word? Shit. She kind of convinced me that I needed her help. So I hired her first as an intern working on styling jobs and went to school. And then I started paying her as an employee of the school. And then eventually, she just brought so much value, that it became clear that she was more than an employee and then became my business partner, and also eventually my girlfriend. We were in a relationship for five years. So yeah, I think that the value of just getting really lucky in getting someone who was so smart and talented and such a hard worker, and someone that was so [complimentary to my own] skill set and our talents are so opposite that we complete each other in a powerful way in terms of a business. That said, when you're also that different from someone, it's also very difficult.

That was the third piece -- having a really bad-ass, smart woman as a partner who could really take vision to a place in many cases that I didn't really see it going

So I want to fast forward to The Life Stylist.

Tell me about how you pursued this. How did it get started?

Are you profitable yet? Are you gonna be profitable one day?

Well, you know what, I'm so grateful and fortunate that I had School of Style to support me through the transition and I still work at School of Style, although I'm now going to relinquish, my CEO title and status of the company, and Lauren is going to take over as CEO shortly, just because it's more in alignment with her brand and she's still in the fashion and I'm not. I’ve totally dipped out of the industry. So, I was really fortunate when I wanted to do my podcast because I didn't have like a corporate job that I still had to have. I had flexibility with my schedule. As long as I just showed up at School of Style and did what was required, I had enough income from the school to pay all my living expenses and also to fund some of the initial expenses of the podcast when it was in the red, as it is for a while when you start a new thing like that.

So I'm really fortunate to have had that backup. I see a lot of our students at School of Style, or people that want to become, an influencer or personality or a content producer, etc. And they're in a career that they don't like, that's not fulfilling or that is indeed stressing them out or just driving them crazy and they can't escape because they need that paycheck. And there's this perpetual sort of hamster wheel that they get stuck on. And luckily for me that wasn't the case. I was able to somehow squeeze out the time and energy from the school to go focus on my podcast. And thankfully I had a business partner that, although she's gotten really annoyed with me because I haven't been present a lot and we had to work that out, we made some arrangements that made that more fair.

But she was supportive of me because she knows this is my dream and I love talking about spirituality and meditation and health. And I mean this is like my heart. Whereas fashion is cool and I appreciate it as an art form, but I don't wake up in the morning and look at vogue.com. I wake up in the morning and read a meditation book. So The Life Stylist podcast in terms of a business model… I think I've taken enough online courses and I've worked with a couple of business coaches. I got the concept that I would have to have this business go in different phases. And so it was never my intention to make the podcast, in and of itself, “the business” or “the brand”. The business is me. My ass, this mug, Luke Storey, whatever that ends up evolving into.

And then I had a strategy that I worked out with my business coach at the time it was Dave Asprey, the Founder and CEO of Bulletproof Coffee.

And so he had a successful podcast. I was working with him doing executive coaching. And [Dave Asprey said] if you've got a bunch of recorded, put out 10 in a row for 10 days. And that way it gives you leverage with iTunes. You get a lot of downloads really fast and then you could go really quickly and tell big name guests, oh yeah, I've already got 10 shows out. Those ten shows came out in 10 days, so I kind of gamed the system a little bit and got a little push and a little momentum. And once I pulled the trigger and did that, that first phase was just consistently, (and anyone who does content will tell you) consistency is king. And I knew that, and so I just made a commitment every Tuesday. I don't care if it's the freaking zombie apocalypse. I'm putting out a show every Tuesday.

No matter what. I don't care. Literally, if I'm lying on my death bed, I will sit there and do an iPhone voice memo. “Ok, today's podcast is…” and click submit to iTunes. I'm not missing it. So I got the consistency, but there was no chance of monetization because I had no credibility and no audience. So I knew I've got to put out really high quality content with some degree of consistency and regularity in order to build a loyal enough following where I've got enough downloads to then facilitate bringing on advertisers on the show that pay. So how I transitioned from spending $2,500 to $3,000 a month out-of-pocket to produce my podcast, (which is how much it costs to do my show and the things that support it). It's really expensive because I do it right. You could do it really cheap or for free.

[But] you're going to have a crappy podcast. And I'm just too competitive. I want to sound like, I want to be up there with Tim Ferriss and Joe Rogan and Rich Roll and Dave [Asprey]. I want to have one of the biggest podcasts in the world. So it needs to sound like that. And in fact, I’ve got to say my sound, even when I started, was better than some other big shows. Because I’m a musician, so I understand microphones and all that stuff. So thank God I knew how to do that.

So anyway –getting the content out. Another thing I did strategy-wise that I think was useful was I started running ads on my show from the beginning. Even though they weren't paying. So, what I was doing is I was giving brands free ads.

Did you tell them that you were doing that?

No, I don't ask for permission. I ask for forgiveness.

Here's the deal. So the first thing I did is get all these as big names - as many big names as I can. So I went for stretch goals. Tried to get all the biggest people in health and spirituality and stuff. And I got a few big names starting out of the gate which helped. But then I started reaching out to all the brands for all the products I use. I mean there's my clear light sauna. I have a cupboard full of probably a hundred supplements that are really high quality. I vetted them. I know all the best stuff. Maybe it's my drug past – I find the best dealer in town so I know who makes the best, the best vitamin K2, to who makes the best sauna or the best this, the best that. I pride myself in researching and finding the best people, so I started reaching out to the brands that I'm a consumer of, saying, hey, I want to do an affiliate deal with you.

So I’d sign up as an affiliate with all those brands, like Bulletproof Coffee for example. They were one of the first ads that I ran, so there was a multi-faceted strategy there. A - I wanted the audience to get indoctrinated into me having ads at the beginning of the show from the beginning. I didn't want to spring it on them after they're addicted to the show after the first year, thinking like, oh, now he's getting greedy. I'm like, no, dude, there's ads on my show. I'm doing this shit for free. Also, it made my show sound more legitimate. Does the brand give a shit that I'm giving them free advertising? No, they love it. But I made a little money. It was a weak monetization, but it was the beginning. [Eventually it became] so if somebody bought some bulletproof coffee, I made $20 or something. As the audience grew, the affiliate commissions that I get from those brands started to go up. And now I get paid - I just made $800! A couple years ago that was $8, you know what I mean? And I'm like, wow, give me a couple more years. that'll be $8,000.

Are you at a point now where you ever get approached by sponsorship deals or advertisers that are not in alignment with your purpose that you're serving?

I'm really excited because next week I'm taking on a McDonald's and Coca-Cola as advertisers. [Jokingly, we laugh.]

No, I think because my subject matter is so niche, my lane is narrow in a sense because I'm not talking about sports or politics or how to make a go-cart or whatever. I'm very much focused on health and spirituality. So the brands that have approached me have been in alignment so far.

My newest advertiser that just cold called me is Health IQ, and they’re a life insurance company. And I was like, yeah, I don't know, that sounds kind of corporate and weird. I'm usually advertising supplements or health devices or something. But I got on a call with one of their chiefs and he explained what they do, and the way it works is there are a broker or an agency and they shop around for a life insurance policy for you.

But what’s sIck, and what's in alignment with my brand, is you get up to a 58 percent discount on your life insurance if you're super healthy. So you can send them your gym membership, your fitbit statistics of how much you jog. If you're a vegan, it's cheaper. So it actually incentivizes the customer to take better care of themselves because it's less of a burden on the company issuing the insurance because you're less likely to die. So I was like, that's actually a business model that I really want to support. So even though it's very kind of corporate and medical, I wasn’t sure if it was going to fit, but once I talked to them and found out more [ it worked out]. But that was probably the most left field.

But there will come a time when someone's like, hey, we want to run ads on your show for this thing that I don't really believe in or is it healthy. Or if there's some lack of integrity there, then there's no way I could do that because I'm not trying to be like that. I mean, it sounds self-righteous, but I literally just couldn't live with myself to do that. I just have been working on my own integrity for too long to just take money for something that doesn't align with me inside.

But, the other piece of when the business turned more profitable, to your original question, is about six months in… I had been running these free ads that no one knew were free. And then I started reaching out to some of the brands that I had run free ads for. I said, hey, I've been running these ads for free. How are sales looking? And they're like, dude, shit, you actually convert. And so they could see my conversions because my audience is very, as we see in the industry, very compliant.

You have like people that are “popular” on social media and then you have people who are “influencers”. Being popular and having influence are different things. It turns out, for whatever reason, based on my delivery and personality and enthusiasm and expertise, my audience is very compliant. And I'm very influential when I say I've found the best thing, buy it! They buy it.

I believe you! I’ve bought a handful of supplements that you've mentioned. I have a JOOV red light in my apartment. I want to buy an AmpCoil.

You got the JOOV! Doesn't it feel good? It's so good for your skin.

It literally, has all these white papers on how it removes wrinkles. It heals scars. It is as it prevents acne. It's insane. Red light therapy is absolutely scientifically vetted up and down. You cannot disprove its efficacy. It is just absolutely 100 percent legit.

And then the next phase in terms of monetization was to roll out a coaching program where I worked with people one on one, which I've been doing for a long time anyway. I just never talked about it. That’s still a means to an end.

I knew that it wasn't scalable nor really sustainable to do the coaching, but, it helps support the other things that I'm doing. And so I'm still kind of in Phase 2 there, and coaching as part of that. And then another part of phase two is speaking at as many events as I can be in other podcasts, sharing my expertise as an individual.

And then I have my first online class coming out this summer, which is kind of moving into more Phase 3, where there's a paid online communities and online courses and doing paid retreats and things like that, which I'll get into.

So the first class that I'm going to be presenting it's a course that teaches every single thing I've ever learned to minimize the negative effects of air travel, car travel, hotel travel. Because I love to travel, but it just wrecks me. So for the past 10 years I've been adding all of these different devices and supplements and practices to my protocol and I put all of it into this crazy online course. So I'll see how that one goes and if people respond, which I think they will, then I’ll start making more of those and do things that are more scalable. Because I find with the coaching, it's fun and it's rewarding to really help someone move through blocks on different levels, metaphysically and physically. But you can still only help one person at a tIme. And I know I have more to offer than just getting on a skype with someone once a week and kind of guiding them through a period in their life. I’d like to be able to do that for 10,000 people at once, you know. And also the retreats, like going somewhere really special. Bali or Costa Rica or Hawaii or wherever, and having a full immersion for a couple of weeks where I take people and sequester them from their phones and their lives and teach them the the ultimate lifestyle in person where they get to do it more experientially.

I know you have an extensive ritual of all your bio-hacking devices and supplements every day. What would you say are your favorite three?

Absolutely, my number one non-negotiable is meditation. I do that twice a day. And it's free. That's the ultimate biohack.

I’ll get people that email me asking, How can someone improve their health and well-being for, for cheap? And I'm like, dude, meditate! Meditation is the most free and most powerful thing that you can do to benefit your life. So I literally meditate every single morning without fail for at least 20 minutes, usually about 20 to 30 minutes with the exception of days where I'm going to my 9AM kundalini yoga class.

So meditation number one. I would say number two,( and I'm going to throw in one that is not cheap or free), it's $7,500 and that's a device called the Ampcoil. I feel like I have a freaking Ferrari in the garage and I've only just turned the key on, I’ve only just revved it up a couple times. It's got a lot of potential in terms of the different things that you can use it for. But the Ampcoil is a combination of what's called biofeedback and PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field). So, essentially it sends sound and vibration frequencies into your body through a magnetic coil. That's a really great delivery system to get things deep into your cells. And the frequencies do different things from nourishing organs to balancing your chakras and your energetic system, to cleansing pathogens and metals and things like that.

So it's like a cleansing device, a nourishing device, and also a very transformative consciousness device because of what it does to the nervous system and your brain waves

Lastly, I mean honestly it's kind of superficial, but drinking a Bulletproof coffee after meditation. There's an asterisk there -- after meditation. Don't drink caffeine and then try to meditate. It's not gonna happen. So you have to wait until after. But when I started on Bulletproof coffee and my friends make fun of me because I've been the poster child of Bulletproof and I've done a lot of work with them and stuff.

But when Dave Asprey kind of invented the idea, slash got the idea from these mountain people in the Himalayas that make a yak butter tea, whIch is essentially like a hot herbal drink with really good healthy fats in it. He saw that they had to sustain energy and he thought, maybe I could get healthy fats into coffee and make a delicious coffee. That gives you this amazing sustaining energy and all these healthy fats. When I got on that coffee, which was probably six years ago my whole health just totally changed and I stopped craving carbohydrates and I stopped craving sugar, and it just made me kind of by default to ketogenic.

So I pretty much stopped eating gluten. I cut down on sugar. I lost a bunch of weight. I had this crazy energy all day. So whether or not one would drink a bulletproof coffee per se, or just a really great herbal elixir hot drink. The point is you want something medicinal which caffeine and the coffee bean has medicinal or some kind of herb or mushroom. But combining it with the healthy fats like the Brain Octane Oil, which is a derivative of coconut oil. It's a, it's a certain type of MCT.

It gives you such mental power and physical energy and it lasts for a really long time and you don't get that anxiety and the crash and the mood swings that a lot of people get from coffee.

How do you measure success and do you consider yourself successful today?

Oh, that's a great question.

I think for me, success is relevant to and contingent on how much I'm able to love and accept myself.

That's helped me gauge my own success. When I look in the mirror, how much shame is still there. You know? How much self-loathing and all of that nastiness is still present. The more that I can overcome that, the more successful I feel inside. So success is not so much for me about what's accomplished in manifest externally, and it's not even about what I do. Like, oh, I do this cool podcast and I run this fashion school…. It's more about who I am becoming, the man that I'm becoming and that I have integrity that. I am who I say I am and that I'm real.

I'd much rather be respected than liked. I don't really care if people like me. And just what some feedback that I get a lot, which makes me feel successful is people say, man, I love your delivery because it's so real. You're so authentic. I get that specific feedback so often and that's such a high compliment. It warms my heart to hear.

So I think that when I am able to care about myself and respect and love myself enough to be authentic and real and vulnerable, that feels successful to me because I'm becoming someone that I'm able to really accept. And I acknowledged my faults and weaknesses to myself and outwardly to others, but I also appreciate the talents that I have, the skills that I have, and the things that I've been able to overcome in my life.

I always say if you seek out for respect, all the right people will end up loving you anyways. And if you seek out for love, you won't get respect from anyone. You know? If you try to make everyone love you, no one is gonna respect you anyways.

Yeah. And I've struggled a lot in my life where just being addicted to approval and wanting to be popular and be liked and to be accepted and all that stuff. And I used to be such a people pleaser and a doormat in so many ways and just going along with what other people wanted a lot when I was younger and it's just like, I'm not having that anymore. I know who I am. And how I want to spend my time, and the people with whom I want to spend it. And so the more it can really just be true to myself and kind of have a hard line there, I think I feel more accomplished. But then the funny thing is, the more I'm grounded in that state of being, the more success I have on the outside with business and finance, things like that!

It's like things just sort of start to come my way and it happens without much effort. There really is such a correlation between, how much outer success, material success I really feel at the core that I deserve, not in an entitled way, but it's an earned deserving ,that the more shows up, because the universe is like, oh really? You think you're the shit? All right, we're gonna pay you like you're the shit.

What are some valuable advice that you would give to other entrepreneurs that are starting their businesses with a conscious intention like yours?

Well, the intention is everything. I think in any endeavor, whether it be entrepreneurial, business or otherwise, even entering into any kind of relationship, be it romantic, friendship, a business, whatever it is, the intention is everything. And that's going to determine not only the outcome of success, but the outcome of inner fulfillment and reward for that venture. In other words, if I'm entering into a situation because I want to get something out of it, I'm going to lose. Because the inherent, a quality of selfishness can never be satisfied no matter what milestone you get to. You feel like you've never arrived, because that selfish, insecure, rapacious, taker energy is present. The number one thing would be setting the intention as I want to contribute as much value as possible in any given situation. And that also means that I want to receive value and compensation out of it too.

So that would be my advice - setting the intention and contributing and giving. But also in addition to that, and this is really a big one that I've had to teach so many School of Style students… It sounds so corny, like every entrepreneurial seminar speaker says something to this effect, but the paralysis of analysis will kill you. You just, you just have to do it. Launching your thing and doing it wrong is a million times more successful than waiting and planning and planning and planning and then doing it right. Because no matter how long you wait and plan to launch your venture, it's going to come out sloppy anyways.

So why don't you just start now and just be hella-sloppy and just totally suck. But at least you’d be someone who's doing it and sucking instead of someone who's talking about it, planning about it, trying to be a perfectionist at something [that never happens].

###

30 episodes