The Plunge: Elliot Aronow

On thinking about your life as an adventure and making sure you're fighting the right fight

Name: Elliot Aronow

Position, Company: Founder of minor genius

Previous Titles: Co-Founder and Creative Director of RCRD LBL, CEO and Creative Director of Jacques-Elliott ties, Host, Writer, and Producer of OUR SHOW with Elliot Aronow, Fashion x Music columnist for GQ, Editor at The FADER

How long have you been solo: Been solo since 2005

Where you can find me: Email, Website, LinkedIn, Newsletter, Instagram

Why did you decide to go into business for yourself?

Getting fired from my first and last day job 19 years ago on April 1, 2005 was not a very fun April Fool's for me.

It was so sudden and abrupt, I spent the first two minutes of my meeting with my bosses waiting for the camera person to come out and announce that I had been punk'd.

But Ashton was nowhere to be found.

Despite being a star employee who had been promoted three times in two years, I really did get fired without a moment's warning.

I'm not sure who the joke was on at the end, but I was definitely laughing to the bank by the end of the year.

Within 6 months, I traded a 28k job as a mid-level magazine editor for over 80k in consulting work - often to the tune of $500 a day, which in 2005 was a small fortune for me.

After that, my mind was made up. I wanted to be an entrepreneur.

What do you do and how do you differentiate yourself?

I help men become creative entrepreneurs and make a good living doing what they love.

Some people know me as a fashion guy, others as a music person, others as a transformational coach, others as a writer and editor, others as a creative director, others as a TV host so I combine all that stuff together to help dudes get unstuck and create the life they REALLY want for themselves.

What do you miss about corporate life?

I liked to have a place to go to every day to show off my outfits.

What do you love about entrepreneurial/consulting life?

I believe that humans are wired for freedom and expansion and so being an entrepreneur allows me to explore the edges of those primal expressions.

It's fun to think of your life as an adventure - makes the low periods kind of romantic and character-building and the high points really satisfying because you know that you "did it" in your own way and on your own terms.

What’s your best piece of advice?

Be sure you are fighting the real fight.

I think it's sad to see so many creative people hating their jobs and not doing what they want in life.

Struggling is all part of the game but when you are struggling for a purpose, it's all worthwhile. It's noble and heroic!

When you are struggling because you feel this corporate chokehold in your life to sell more mayo, that's not fun and that's not a real fight.

The real fight is something you feel in your bones and it makes you feel alive!

Go for that!

Give me three takeaways

1. See the higher self in every person you encounter. They probably see themselves as not good enough, "behind in life,” not worthy, etc. Be the person that sees what a genius they are!

2. Raise your standards every day. Only work with high-commitment people who value and desire your specific flavor of leadership.

3. Give yourself permission to want what you really want in life - free of any stereotype of corporatist agenda. Maybe you "just want" to create a fishing magazine, do that!

Anything else you want to add?

Creative constipation is the root of all suffering. Having an idea or dream but not being able to express it will bum you out and reinforce every negative story you have about yourself.

Making stuff that you care about over and over again creates a body of work, which creates leverage and opportunity, which brings home the bacon. Keep making stuff!