Written by Carissa Abazia

I hope you had a lovely Memorial Day Weekend.  To kick-start the workweek, here is a list of what I’m enjoying or pondering.

What I’m reading —Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.

Leonardo da Vinci created undoubtedly the two most iconic works of art in Western history: The Last Supper and The Mona Lisa. His drawing of L’Uomo Vitruviano (aka Vitruvian Man) embodies the classic depiction of the Renaissance temperament. Da Vinci was a master of blending mathematics and art. Moreover, he was an observer, an astronomer, a biblical man, and a geologist among many other faces.  Isaacson brings to life this peculiar, haunted, intelligent and curious man who was, beyond explanation, centuries ahead of his time. If you have an affinity for art and enjoy reading biographies, this is your next read.

Best Advice I Can Give Young Entrepreneurs —

There are several “overnight” success stories that you read about in the press; however,  the majority of successful businesses take years, if not decades, to build. It’s never easy – it’s always overwhelming hard. Entrepreneurs often ride a roller coaster of highs and lows that feel even more intense because they carry the burden or triumph dependent on whether the company fails or succeeds.

About two years ago, I was questioning my career path. In turn, I interviewed as many intelligent people as I could – roughly 35 highly successful business-owners and entrepreneurs – and asked them to share their advice for other entrepreneurs going through a “career or quarter-life crisis.” I documented my notes in a journal.

Below are some of the questions I asked.

Do you love your job and if so, why?

Do you wake up excited to go to work?

Do you have time to enjoy the things you love?

What does success mean to you?

Are you successful by your standards?

I distilled down the data and here’s what I found:

It’s important to be passionate about what you do. Of course money is important, but making money should be a second thought.  Build a business or product that YOU would be proud to promote.  Many people are relentlessly pursuing  money and fame but the key to success is to focus on something bigger than material wealth: the key is to focus on what makes you tick, your passion.  Give up chasing the pipe dream – if you do, success and money will follow.

Quote I’m pondering —

“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.”  -Sydney J. Harris

What I’m in love with — Guitar.

Guitar has played a major role in my life.  My entire childhood was spent listening to my father play music with his band in our family’s third carport located in the back for the garage.  The space was referred to as “the studio” and “man cave”.  Countless nights of enjoying the sounds of Led Zeppelin, Buddy Guy, and the Rolling Stones, and after attending multiple shows, a strong desire within encouraged me to pick up guitar and – BAM! – I was fixed.  I didn’t know I could love playing this wondrous instrument as much as I do.

Songs I’m listening to  — “Selfish” and “Lust” by SAINt JHN.

I saw SAINt JHN perform live very recently and was reminded of my affection for (good) rap music. The show brought back memories of many years dedicated to the art of hip hop dance, and how much joy I got out of it.


Thanks for reading!

Carissa Abazia