Disruptive. In school I was quite the one. Name was always on the board, starting small mutiny’s with my oddball group of friends. I was also sometimes the quiet kid in the front of the class struggling to see. It all depended on which school and which teacher I was dealing with at the time. I read an old report card from the 2nd grade and I remember seeing the words occasionally disruptive and extremely compassionate. I wasn’t really able to justify the former with the latter when it came time for my parents to open that envelope though.
This word disruptive, is all around me again now. It’s a buzz word in business. In the current landscape of nearly every industry there is room for disruption. It’s what makes start ups exciting. But all who claim to be disruptive are not actually so. You gotta make a dent, scare some people, and be noisy about it.
My first small business was writing customized poems for my classmates in 3rd grade. I charged a nickel a line – which if you do the math means I went to school in 1908. The kids would order sweet poems about flowers for their moms, and I made enough side change to get ice cream and other things I wanted during the week. This disrupted my parents no allowance policy and I enjoyed the bliss of financial independence. Since then I’ve had two other small businesses, a T-shirt company and a luxury glove line – both were fun and creative, but would not qualify as disruptive.
I believe Black&Sexy TV is truly a disruptive company. Our approach to storytelling disrupts what most people learn in school. Who and how we cast talent disrupts the status quo choices. Our business model is our own unique mold of community and content. And we distribute on our own. We are disruptive and yes, I’m proud of that.
Through this we’ve made the best kind of friends and enemies. The friends are fiercely supportive, they want the changes that we are making to be long lasting and far reaching, and they help to make it so. At the same time the enemies are afraid of that very thing. Both motivate us to be stronger. There’s a political side to business building as well where people sometimes switch in and out of these roles so you must always hold steady and keep moving forward with your vision.
Gone are the days where my parents can punish me for being disruptive in class, there’s no detention, or checks after my name. My rebellious nature is put to very good use now as part of this team disrupting the system for how our images and stories are viewed and told.
Self Portrait. 2010. Los Angeles, Korea Town. Vintage Leopard Dress, Vintage Camel Suede Jacket, Little Black Gloves by Miss Numa. Shot on Leica Dlux-4