Redpole Q's Biography(Photos)
I grew up right outside of Washington, in Silver Spring, Maryland.
I was in a Spanish immersion program in Elementary school, and then went on to St. Anselm's School for Boys in North-East DC in the 7th grade.
I spent 6 years at St. Anselm's graduating from High School there in 1996 having spent 4 years learning Latin, 2 years learning French, and 3 years sleeping...in Spanish class.
After St. Anselm's I went on to Howard University also in Washington DC(although in a less savory area) on a full scholarship from 1996-2000. I majored in Economics because business school was too dull but I still wanted to be able to find a job(because as my mom would say, "Boy, you need to get yourself a J-O-B!"), also I always figured that I could learn that practical stuff later. What I didn't know at the time is that all of the ivy leaguers bringing down the fat salaries studied econ. too(this fortunate accident led me into the world of Investment Banking and Consulting, but more on that later).
As everyone can remember 2000 was the height of the economic boom in the States, so while I was able to get what I thought at the time time were amazing job offers, I ended up(to the surprise of most everyone who knows me) getting a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Japan for a year and decided that I could come back for an even better job after my one year stint abroad(maybe even a job at McKinsey!).
The bubble bursting and the lay-offs were one of the many factors that kept me from returning to the States. Others included a change in ambitions and personal issues that are always way too complicated.
Since then I have been living in Japan and life here has been very up and down, though it's now stabilizing as my experience, abilities, and knowledge are now catching up with my ambitions(or maybe my ambitions are scaling down to match the level of my experience, abilities and skills).
Interestingly enough, while my dad has always touted the benefits of vicarious learning, I find that learning from others can be very slow, and only under their terms. I can say that I agree with vicarious learning, but it's definitely important to realize that everyone has their limitations and you should not go overboard in studying under one other person.
Indexing is the popular way to go these days as far as investing and I think that when it comes to education this is the way to look at it too. If you have an area you want to learn about listen to ALL the experts, and keep and open mind and weight what they have to say against each other because they all know more than you but are each limited by their own experience.
Excuse the tangent there, anyway, now I'm running PickUp Asia, the premier Asia-based, dating and relationship coaching company for men. It's October 2009 and we have done programs in Fukuoka, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, and Hong Kong, with plans to expand to Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, and Singapore.
We've worked with over 150 clients, primarily western expats, though we are now expanding into teaching Korean men in Korea.
In November, I'll be speaking at my first large scale audience of a few hundred people in Melbourne, followed by another speech two weeks later in Sydney along side some of the heavy hitters in the industry, some of whom appeared in the book, "The Game".
I've also recently started a blog: RedpoleQ.com.
Before I started PickUp Asia I was living a fairly comfortable life in Japan. I worked an average of 50 hours a MONTH and the lowest pay I worked for was about $20 hour, though I was working on phasing out the lower paying hours and moving up to a minimum of $60/hour.
I made most of my money from teaching, but I started having regular lunch parties for my students that brought in an extra $100/month when I started having them in March 2006.
Planning to organize a trip to the US for some students with some margin on top for me.
Importing a Jagermeister cooling machine for bars and clubs. Got one in place and 2 more virtually guaranteed sales. Each should make me a profit of
Also thinking to start bringing in snow making machines for clubs. Saw one at a club in NYC and it was pretty damn cool.
Also starting a marketing business to help small businesses like restaurants collect customers text messaging addresses and direct market to them through text messaging.
Also working with my friend who's a sticker magnate with a huge off-line reach to set-up an on-line shop.
I also have 4 condom vending machines on location in club bathrooms. I'm testing different kinds of condoms in the machines and I'm also thinking of other things to put in the machine like this.
All this makes it sound like I'm busy, but I work on all of these projects slowly with no hard deadlines. And the reason I have so many different things going on simultaneously is that I'm so lazy that when I hit an obstacle instead of working my way through it, I go on to something else until a breakthrough presents itself.
So you're probably wondering, "If I work for only 50 hours a MONTH, what do I do with all the rest of the time?" Well, I spend a lot of time reading. What kinds of things I'm reading really depends but recently I've been re-focusing on following the stock market and learning about investing and wealth creation and preservation. Also it gives me time to hatch business ideas like the two you'll see below, and allowed me to slow down enough to look around an find a better way to go.
So, how did I get here?
Those of you who have known me for a long time know that when I started at Howard University I was an ambitiousless intellectual with a chip on my shoulder about having missed out on the chance to go to Columbia Univ. and play on the Ultimate Frisbee team. (I've never ceased to fantasize about this by the way, despite my parents attempts to make it seem like I didn't miss out on anything)
While at Howard I transformed from a fairly mediocre boy with a privelged background into an ambitious, goal driven(though low-key), self-determined person on the road to manhood with a much deeper understanding of what it is to be black and what I wanted out of the world.
Due to some rather serendipitous events I met two people during my graduation year who really changed the course of my life, Lawrence Penn and William Patterson. The first turned me onto the world of management consulting, which was great having already been rejected for a job by all the major investment banks and giving me a second chance at getting a job that would put me into a 6 figure salary in under 10 years. The second, turned me on to the world of business, as in business for myself, entrepreneurship, which was something I never imagined was possible for me.
Both of them opened up worlds of possibility that I'd never imagined before. Coming from an extremely cushy family background, I had no reason to imagine anything beyond that middle class background and felt if I did that well, there was no reason to work for more.
William Patterson(aka Knowledge, don't ask) allowed me to think that I could create enormous amounts of wealth within a short time. Since I met him I have been firmly on the path of learning how to do that.
I have had many, many, many dissappointments in my quest(I thought I would be rich by 23, 24 tops!). I can definitely say that I wasted two years working for someone else, thinking I was working for myself, but I corrected that and really feel myself moving forward at a much more rapid clip.
The third person that has really influenced my life is Brian Tanura. He showed me what a good lifestyle is all about. I remember all the times I'd go over to his house and he and his wife(he was 28 at the time) would be putzing around the house like two retired people.
They went out for late lunches and got low plane ticket prices by traveling off-season. I knew that that was the life I wanted to live. I'm still working on it, but I'm pleased with my progress.
Recently, I really feel like I have things in hand and finally have figured out how to make money. I'm still working on the doing part though. In the meantime I'm maintaining this super laid back approach of course, and enjoying my kick-ass lifestyle, and things are only getting better.