Flint Bedrock: A Musician and Entrepreneur with Heart

I met Flint Bedrock a while ago on Twitter and then thankfully, we recently became reacquainted. I have always been impressed by his drive, his outlook, and his collaborations. He’s a musician and businessman from Leeds, England who knows how to work well with others and obviously enjoys it! I love the story he tells in the answer to my first question about his mom and to me, that is so telling of the type of person he is. When you are raised right, you are definitely put on the right path early on.

Q: You are both a musician and an entrepreneur. Which came first and how did you become interested in music?

Flint Bedrock: That’s a tricky question, LOL! I started having piano lessons when I was 5 years old after my mother noticed that I had taken interest in playing the instrument. I was often found playing or rather trying to play on our church piano before and after the service.

I come from a business family and have in one way or the other been involved in some type of business however small the role, for the most part of my life. I remember my mom giving me a pack of sweets (lollipops) and telling me I could either eat them all or individually sell them and make enough money to buy more than what she’d given me. Kids would have little stalls outside church during lunch hour where we’d sell all sorts of snacks and refreshments. Our community encouraged an entrepreneurship lifestyle and from a young age children were taught business values. To answer the question, I definitely had a passion for music first but I also took to business at an early age.

Q: I know you like to collaborate with other musicians. How do you choose the projects you work on?

Flint Bedrock: I enjoy working with other artists, being able to create a new piece of music with other people is such an amazing privilege. I tend to be drawn to artists who have the same values as me, I believe music is an expression of self. I like to make sure that behind the fun and artistic expressions there’s also a strong message that listeners can hold on to or something that inspires them to make positive changes in their lives.

Q: Do you also collaborate with people on the entrepreneur aspect? 

Flint Bedrock: I absolutely love collaborating with other entrepreneurs, I have always believed that if your dream only involves you and your interests then it’s too small.

Q: Who would you like to work with musically that you haven’t had the opportunity to yet? 

Flint Bedrock: I have a lot of respect for artists who have excelled in both music and business, the likes of Will.i.am, Pharrell Williams and P Diddy, I would be over the moon if I got an opportunity to work any of them. There’s many people I’d love to work with.

Q: Both Music and the entrepreneurial world have been changed a bit by reality TV with shows like The Voice, Idol, and even Shark Tank. What do you think of those platforms? Useful or not? 

Flint Bedrock: TV reality shows create a great opportunity for the right people. The format draws in  different kinds of artists and by design does not benefit everyone, but for the people who are able to maximise the exposure they get, it can be life changing. I think it’s important for a contestant to understand exactly what the show is and what it’s not and be realistic about their expectations. The downside to it in my view is an unknown person with no experience of dealing with the media can find them self on the cover of every magazine one day and be out of the competition the next day. This can cause a lot of psychological trauma and difficulty in adjusting back to normal life. There’s no aftercare or financial compensation and with the whole country expecting you to be some sort of a celebrity it’s incredibly difficult coming to terms with the fact that nothing much has changed and in a sense you’re back to square one.

Q: What advice would you give someone who was just starting out in music?

Flint Bedrock: The business has changed so much. 6 Deciding to become a professional singer/artist is a very brave thing to do. The most important thing is to know exactly what you want out of it and be completely realistic with your expectations. Not everyone can be a superstar but if you have talent, drive and determination they’s no reason why you can’t have a successful music career. Do things the right away, register with organisations that support artists and put in the hours. There are no shortcuts to success and don’t wait for someone somewhere to come and make your dreams come true. Believe in yourself and never give up, good things take time!

Q: What advice would you give them on how best to utilize and incorporate Social Media?

Flint Bedrock: Social media platforms provide a perfect opportunity for artists to get noticed, promote and sell their music. You can also get invaluable data about audience demographics which can help you identify and develop your niche market. I have personally benefited from social media, Twitter in particular; a platform which I signed on to virtually unknown and now have a following of over 150 000 people. It’s given me credibility as an artist, exposure and more importantly has helped me sell my music which is what you need to be able to make a living off your music.

Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?

Flint Bedrock: At this point in my life I can’t live without my phone, smartphones provide incredible convenience and capabilities which are indispensable for my music and business.

If we could do away with greed, the world would be a much better place.

Q: Speaking of social media, where can we find you online?

Flint Bedrock: Follow Flint Bedrock on social media: Twitterhttps://twitter.com/flintbedrock Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/flintbedrock1 Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/flintbedrock

Q: What is coming up next for Flint Bedrock?

Flint Bedrock: I am currently working very hard to develop my business and creating new music. People can expect to hear much more music from me this year.

JT Foxx The Ultimate Businessman with a great big Heart

When Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says you are the closest person he’s met to Steve Jobs, that is no small compliment. JT Foxx is the worlds #1 wealth coach and has been described as the ultimate millionaire underdog.
Here’s a little about JT:
“JT Foxx is the ultimate Millionaire Underdog. He is a successful serial entrepreneur with companies, brands and business interest spanning the globe. He is one of the top platform speakers in the world and deemed the world’s #1 wealth coach as seen and heard television, radio and print. JT is also a media and TV personality. What is most important to JT Foxx though is his philanthropic endeavors with youth entrepreneurs and kids with cancer. He is currently working on a new business reality show and his widely anticipated new book Millionaire Underdog, against all odds.”
I was honored to hear that JT had agreed to do this interview with me and I hope you all get something from it. Be sure to visit his website for even more info, advice, and opportunities: JTFoxx.com 
Q: What are common mistakes  you see with people you have coached when it comes to building wealth and in business?
JT Foxx:People often think that the same things that got them to the point they are at is what will also get them to the next level.  That isn’t the case, you have to do things differently at each stage in order to get it to the next level.  What makes you $100,000 won’t be what makes you your first million, and what made you that million won’t be what makes you your first 10 million.  You have to think differently, and be open to being coachable in order to get different results.
Q: I know you are passionate about helping others succeed. Are your clients ever surprised by how young you are and how much you have achieved?
JTF: Initially I think people are a little surprised when they first meet me, but it doesn’t take long for anyone to turn it around and realize that I have gotten where I am because I work incredibly hard, I have wanted it really bad, and do whatever my coaches tell me to do.  When people witness how my mind works and how quickly I come up with ideas they just get it and then it doesn’t matter how old I am.
Q: When it comes to philanthropy, what causes are your main focus?
JTF: I have started my own JT Foxx Foundation, and I really want to focus on giving back and helping childrens charities.  I have been very involved with raising money for St. Jude Childrens Hospital, I am working with a Childrens hospital in South Africa and Singapore as well.  Children are the next generation and they should have every opportunity to live a healthy and happy life, I want to do what I can to make a difference.
Q: What do you think of Donald Trump’s decision to go into politics? Do you think businessman to politics is a good progression?
JTF: Knowing the Trumps, It was only a matter of time before he actually did it he isn’t someone that talks about something and doesn’t action it.  I think its raised a lot of attention to the political process and I think he would do a great job leading the country surrounded with the right team.  It might just be time that the country is run by a businessman instead of a political figure head. He doesn’t have to bend to any lobbyist or political groups because he is self funding.  He doesn’t always think before he speaks, or does he just know how to get the attention of the media.
Q: You often speak of choices and being careful about who you surround yourself with. I’ve seen many people get stuck by continually surrounding themselves with people going nowhere, people from their past or hometown who never succeed. What types of people should we absolutely avoid on our own journey to success?
JTF: Anyone who doesn’t support you, believe in you, or encourage you along the way.  If everyone tells you that you can’t you start to believe them.
Q: I know you recently ventured into the business of making suits and ties. What drew you to that arena? In your opinion, what makes a great suit/look?
JTF: I’ve been doing ties for many years now, the suits are a new addition to the wealth collection.  The suits started in a similar way to the ties, I was paying a lot for my custom made suits and realized that they don’t cost a lot to make there is just a ridiculous mark up.  So I decided that I could get the fabrics straight from Italy and then set up the manufacturing and start my own company.  It’s the power look, its a dark suit with either a light blue shirt or white and a solid color tie.  It’s what I wear, it’s what Trump wears, and it’s the power look.
Q: Could you tell us a little about what you are currently working on and what’s up next for you?
JTF: Adjusting plans for 2016, and looking at the plans over the next 5 years.  I don’t like to talk to much about what my plans are as they changed based on what works and what doesn’t so I’m not going to divulge what’s coming next just yet.
Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?
JTF: With the amount that I travel my passport and cell phone are both pretty important.  I couldn’t live without knowing that I can be the absolute best that I want to be, and know that I am able to make a difference and make a huge impact.  Knowing that is what give me the energy to keep going and keep striving to be my best.  I wish everyone could live without self doubt.  When people doubt themselves or think they can’t do something its what drives someone to not be the best version of themselves.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 20?
JTF: I want to have helped thousands of children through my charity foundation, thats why I do everything that I do so I can make a difference and help to leave a legacy
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given and from who?
JTF: I would have to say that the best advice, or really conversation that made a change in me and how I thought about things was with my coach George Ross.  He’s the one that got me to start thinking more charitably.  You can be the most successful business person, you can be famous, but if you don’t do something profound with what you have what does it matter.  You can’t take the money with you when you go so it’s important to give back.  I had never really thought about giving back before, I was just so driven to make as much money as possible.  So that conversation is what made me start to think differently.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever given?
JTF: You would need to ask my students on what the best advice is, I don’t think that I can actually answer that because I am sure whatever I think has been the best advice wouldn’t be and something I don’t even remember would be the best advice.

Gjermund Nesland Kick Boxer, Entrepreneur, and Gentleman

While interviewing Gjermund Nesland, a very familiar topic came up. He reminded me how lucky we are to have the internet to introduce us to friends from all over the world. Without it, I would have never met Kerrin Black, who introduced me to Gjermund and her talent site, Talent Finders. You can find Gjermund there as well: http://www.talentfinders.com/profiles/view/203/gjermund_nesland and I am proud to be listed too: http://www.talentfinders.com/profiles/view/204/tommy_geraci. If you are looking for a place to find, hire, or work with specific talent, Talent Finders is a great place to do so and it costs so much less than sites like IMDb. 

Here is a little about Gjermund, as listed on Talent Finders: 

An officer and a gentleman

Grew up on a farm with three siblings. Learned from a very young age the principles and of hard work, dedication, taking responsibility and to be independent.

15 years of age he decided to move away from home to live  and study physical education in another city.

Applied for a military non-commissioned officer academy after high school. Was accepted and became the first officer cadet in Norway and Sweden selected to be trained within a military artillery prestige project.

 Best performing student from primary school all through his University master’s degree.

 Norwegian Champion in kickboxing. Competing several years on the highest internationally level within kickboxing. The national team management consist only of one team manager and two coaches. Gjermund Nesland is the manager for the successful team. He is also a former athlete on the same team that he is now leading. 

 Received a Presidential Scholar at University of Georgia (“In recognition of superior academic accomplishment [...]”)

 Certified project manager in Project Management Professionals (PMP) by the Project Management Institute, USA. One of the highest recognized project manager certifications internationally.

 Manager and Sports Director for the Norwegian National Kickboxing Team, with the full contact party of the team ranked as the 2ndbest in the world.

Serial entrepreneur within several businesses as real estate, indoor play parks, consulting, and elite sports.

 Important player in the establishment of the contribution model for businesses for the Norwegian “TV-aksjonen“, the world’s largest annual charity fund raising event.

 In 2005, when ”only” being a master’s student he spoke at the DigiMedia 2005 in Cairo, Egypt, the largest IT & media research conference in the Middle East.

 At the age of 29 he was offered a job as International Business Development Manager for an international IT-company, with the main responsibility for subsidiaries and business development in The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden – however, also working with subsidiaries and partners in USA, United Kingdom, France and Germany.

At the age of 34 he was head hunted to a position as Senior Manager in one of the world’s leading supplier of drilling technology and drilling equipment to the offshore oil industry, leading five engineering departments with 120 employees.

 He is now a senior manager in a global company, a national team manager in kickboxing, and  a serial entrepreneur at the same time. 

With Gjermund, I kind of felt like I should be doing a bachelor auction of some sort, he truly is a Renaissance man and would fetch quite the haul for a great charity.  You can see why I wanted to talk to him from his impressive resume. I think you will all enjoy our little chat:

Q: Not many people are familiar with growing up on a farm. What did that experience teach you that you have been able to apply to other aspects of your life?

Gjermund Nesland: Growing up on a farm was for me both an amazing experience and hard work. I am truly grateful for all it has taught me of life and how it has built my work ethic. Most of the summer, when having our school vacation, my brothers and I worked 8-14 hours a day, 6-7 days a week at the farm. We were at an early stage of life given responsibilities and taught that you rarely getting something for free. To achieve things in life you have to work for it.

Also, growing up so close the nature and to wildlife make you appreciate mother earth with things like fresh air, fresh water, pure food and other natural resources.

Q: At 15 you decided to move away from your family to study physical education. What was that like at such a young age? Or is 15 just young to Americans?

GN: Well, most Norwegians move away at the age of 18-20, but it is not unique to move away at the age of 15-16 to go to high school. I believe my upbringing on the farm, having to take responsibility for the livestock and important chores at an early age made me well prepared. I grew up in a very safe and small town, so I was a bit naive then, but my values and ethic kept me away from trouble after moving out.

I got a governmental scholarship when I moved, and in the weekends and vacations I worked on the farm and getting paid. So from the age of 15 I have had full responsibility for my own finances, in addition to cook my own meals, wash my clothes, etc. And I really believe this has shaped me as a person making me a very independent individual.

Q:  What do your experience in the military teach you?

GN: I spent two years in the Norwegian Army, training to be an officer, and these two years were two of the most defining years in my life, shaping my character and nurturing my leadership skills. As a sergeant at the age of 19 I was together with a lieutenant given the responsibility for vehicles and equipment at the value of around $16 million USD. So at an early stage in life the military gives you major responsibilities.

What I definitely  learned most about was me, and how far I can push myself. When you are on a field exercise for a week and only get 1-2 hours sleep every night and two small meals the entire week you learn how your body and your mind reacts when being pushed to its limits. Experiencing how I still managed to stay focused, keeping an offensive morale and perform in all missions we were given gave me a confidence that I have a high capacity and a strong mind.

Q: You are quite the serial entrepreneur. Can you tell us a little about your endeavors?

GN: I started investing in real estate in 2006, and founded several companies together with my business partners. We achieved great things but were also hit by the financial crisis in 2008. That was a very tough but also priceless experience. In 2011 I established an indoor play park for kids of 25,000 square feet inside the largest shopping mall in Norway. This was a project several entrepreneurs in our city were dreaming of achieving, but my two business partners and I were the ones who accomplished it.

However, my entrepreneurial endeavors so far have been in addition to my corporate career. We will see in what direction the future takes me.

Q: What charities or causes are near and dear to your heart?

GN: I have supported different charities earlier. However, a cause that have fallen close to my heart the last couple of years is to help the Dalits in Nepal, and especially young Dalit women.  Nepal retains its centuries-old caste system. Dalits, the discriminated people under this system, suffer from all kinds of restrictions and discrimination. However, of all Dalits young Dalit women face the worst challenges. Dalits are visually a beautiful ethnical group, and therefore young Dalit women are very easily sold to the trafficking and sex industry. These young women become poor victims in a horrible and brutal industry without almost anyone that cares.

Growing up on a farm with the forest as our closest neighbor I need to say that I am also worried by how we cut down and destroy the rain forest. So saving the rain forest is also a cause I truly support.

In the US I am really impressed and supportive of the Queen’s Foundation in North Carolina. Here my dear friend Nadia Shirin Moffett and her team prepare under-served middle and high school young women for higher education and leadership, specifically serving girls who are first in their families to go to college and live in poverty. By empowering and building the confidence of these young women, giving them the proper values, tools and support to face future challenges in life, Nadia is changing lives and faiths in an amazing way.

Q: You are also a kickboxer. What attracted you to that?

GN: Growing up I have always been a fan of martial arts. I started competing in sports at the age of 5, but growing up in a small town there was no martial arts. I therefore trained and competed in several other sports while being a kid and a teenager. However, it was first when I started doing kickboxing at the age of 17 that I found a sport challenging all parts of my physical properties as well as my mentality and tactical skills. As a kickboxer you need to focus on your explosiveness, endurance, strength, mobility, coordination, balance, and your techniques. So it is a challenging sport to perform in. This appealed to me and has over the years given me great experiences.

Q: You also do some modeling. Would you like to pursue that more actively at some point?

GN: The modeling I do has so far just been a fun thing on the side of everything else. I guess I have said no to 90 % of the requests I have received due to prioritizing other areas of my life. But of course, doing modeling or a professional commercial for a large international brand would be fun, but it is not where my focus is.

Q: What is one thing you absolutely cannot live without and one thing you wish we could all live without?

GN: My closest family is definitely what is most important to me. Living without them would be a lot less meaningful.

Also, having hundreds of friends all over the world it would be hard to go back to a life without the Internet. The Internet is probably the greatest inventions of our time, connecting people all over the world, changing old rigid social systems and giving people with few resources opportunities in life they have never had before. The Internet gives me the opportunity to have a global perspective on life, and would be hard to live without.

Q: What is the best advice you have ever gotten and from who?

GN: It is hard to say what has been the best advice. But I think the attitude but my parents and grand parents have had, trusting and supporting me in choosing my own path in life and following my own ambitions and dreams have been very valuable.

Within leadership I was given very good advice from my captain in the army that I never forget. I am a perfectionist, and I always want to make the most correct decision. However, in most situations you do not have enough input and information to make the perfect decision, and you spend too much time pondering instead of taking action. He said: “Often a poor decision is better than no decision.” So it is better to just make a decision, move on and correct along the way, instead of staying put without any progress.

Q: What is the best advice you have ever given?

GN: I am not sure what my best specific advice has been. However, I believe I have been influential in a positive way for my to younger siblings. We grew up on a farm in a small town distant from all the major cities in Norway. Most people here are satisfied with a low paid job, maybe getting a Bachelor’s degree as their maximum. Still, my ambitions have given me a both significant results within higher education and in business. Both my younger siblings have grown up to achieving their Master’s degrees, getting ambitious jobs in great companies. So I believe my influence has been positive on them. I guess the next step should be to turn them into entrepreneurs as well. ;-)