I'm at a conference about mobile and millennials, put on for my brand-marketing and advertising friends... After over a decade in the biz, I'm prepared to be inundated with some bad early morning humor. The event MC begins with an introduction and wants to talk about the panelists first-ever tweets. Here come the bad jokes and I'm ready...
Although the crowd wasn't ready to laugh (I think there was a lull in the stream of coffee available), the event MC, Blake Jamieson, was eager to entertain: he was witty, creative and was an epic storyteller. And he had my attention already with the statement on his shirt "Mr. Swipe Right." I have to say, my favorite of Blake's t-shirt creations has to be about this truth: The Snuggle is Real.
So when someone makes a Tinder joke, I often don't listen. It's just too easy. But this wasn't a joke at all: over the course of the afternoon, Blake told us the story of how he hacked Tinder. It was ridiculous, silly, genius and so simple: Blake photoshopped a photo of himself and included a banner on the image that said, "Hot Match of The Day." He then swiped right on every woman over 18 within a 100-mile radius. With this large pool of females drawn into his profile, Blake had a sample size that led him to understand how to relate in the online dating world. Blake's experiment went viral, garnering him enough notice that he was able to spin up a successful e-book business to share his learnings. Fascinated by his creativity, I knew I had to find out about the twists and turns that got him to where he is now. And, as you'll see, it's good. Blake is living his life as he chooses, carefully he's able to select which projects he pursues.
What’s been the most impactful of the 180s you’ve made in your life? Can you describe what it was?
I've made several 180s that have impacted my life, but the biggest one was moving to Los Angeles. I left my full-time job, packed up everything I could fit in my car, and just went for it! It was exciting and terrifying, but I knew that If I didn't make the leap at that time, I probably never would. It ended up being a great move for me, and propelled my career and network in was I'd never imagined possible.
You’ve made several 180s in your work and even a 360: twice you went from a steady job to working for yourself. What knowledge did you take from that first 180 into your second time working for yourself?
It seems like every two years, I make a major shift in my life, and leave my current job. As soon as something gets boring or repetitive, I need to do something different to challenge myself. Recently, that's involved leaving a steady paycheck to work for myself. That first leap went really well, and gave me the confidence to really believe in myself.
Can you describe the feeling you get right before you decide to make a change?
The big changes I make are not rash decisions. They are well thought-out plans that come together after much consideration. So I guess the best way I could describe how I feel before the change happens.. is anxious. By then, I already know it's coming, and can get a bit impatient. As for the decision itself, it evolves naturally over time, so I can't really assign a single emotion or feeling to go with it.
What’s the toughest part for you about making a big change?
Explaining or rationalizing the change to my family and close friends. Sometimes it's challenging to verbalize why I need to make a change. I'm fortunate to have supportive parents and friends, but sometimes they think walking away from a stable job is risky. For me, the risk is the attractive part of it all. I love the hustle.
What’s the most rewarding part of your life right now? How have you played an active role in creating the rewards you reap.
I'm not tied to a particular company, cubicle, or even state. I've managed to build passive income streams through eBooks and digital courses, which covers the most basic living expenses. That has freed up my days -- so I can spend time however I choose. The feeling is pretty surreal. I still have a long way to go in terms of passive income, but the small taste I've gotten is mighty addicting.
You skyrocketed into digital marketing eyeballs everywhere with your Tinder hack. How much of it was part of your wildest dreams for success and what did you never think would happen but did?
My original Tinder experiment was something I just did for fun. I almost didn't publish the blog article about it, because I knew that once my "tricks" were exposed to the world, they might not work as well. I had absolutely no idea it would go viral and land me so much attention. But with everything in life, I embraced and leveraged it as much as I could (after the fact). It's funny because I've written things before with the specific intention of "going viral," but nothing came close to the attention of my silly Tinder experiment.
If I asked you ten years ago what you’d be doing today in your life, what would you have said?
Haha, I would have said I'd be retired. For sure.
What’s your definition of success?
Living a life of choice, every single day. Freedom and flexibility is my ultimate definition of success.
Any words of wisdom for those embarking on a 180 change in their lives like the one you described?
"The best hunter is the one who is most hungry." This is a quote that a mentor (Roy Steves) told me when I first made the leap from my full-time job. For context, we were talking about the possibility of me working remotely in LA. He rebutted with that, and told me that I will do the best in LA if I literally needed to get out there and hustle.
How can the community support you? Where can we follow you?
Signing up for my email newsletter would be pretty epic. Got some exciting news coming up, and my newsletter peeps will be the first to know about it.