DUSTIN A. BEATTY
From the moment I met Dustin, I could feel his presence of genuine curiosity and passion that drove him towards all of the successes he has achieved at such a young age. In addition to being one of the founders of Anthem Magazine, Dustin has begun and consulted for many other businesses including his own agency called You Are Here, is a photographer, writer, and I think we can include, a professional adventure taker.
He follows in his motorcycle racing fathers footsteps with a attention to detail most likely passed on from his mother - a master of the paintbrush and watercolor. He truly walks to the beat of his own drum and falls into whatever he feels passionate about. Every time I am around Dustin I feel inspired and excited about life, and remind myself that fear does nothing but hold you back. If you ever get a moment with him, you will feel nothing short of special because on top of all of his great qualities, he is an incredible listener with a kind heart.
Below Dustin shares with us advice, his experience on how he gets things done, an extensive reading list and more:
What is one word of advice you can give to others who are starting their own endeavor?
We all face disappointment and or failure - Have you let these things fuel your success? Can you name a time when Failure or pain has pushed you to growth or determination?
Failure is imperative to success and you can’t have one without the other. I’ve been fortunate enough to know, understand and process heavy loss thereby turning those lessons into positive action in future business. The value can only be understood in hindsight but that’s powerful!
How are the first hours of your morning spent?
I’m never as tired as when I’m waking up but my new puppy, Daphni forces me to get up early and take her to the dog park or on a hike. Coffee and food aren’t too far after that.
After your morning ritual, how does your work day begin?
Every day is different and usually involves prioritizing the things on a long to-do list.
Do you use any apps - or special means to help organize your projects? Google Docs, Slack, Mail, a Caran d’Ache Pen and Moleskine ruled notebook.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given in life and in business?
Question what you want to be known for: What’s on your resume or what people would say about your character. In business, do what you love and value. It’s really not that hard if you realize life is short and time is valuable.
What major lessons have you learned in the budding stages of starting your business?
Surround yourself with people who echo your passion and your vision. Be quick to adapt. Build a strong foundation with systems that help you stay organized and disciplined.
Do you believe it’s possible to create your dream life? Was there a point when you realized you could create your own life?
Definitely, but within reason. There are truths and consequences that come with any choice you make. For example, if you dream to run a successful record store it might be wise to research if that will actually work. We’re fortunate now more than ever to have the data to preclude a decision.
What do you hope to achieve through your work?
To live with passion and be surrounded by those who are doing the same.
Have you built a team of people to help you grow in your business?
Yes and when I was serving as the Editor in Chief of Anthem Magazine we had a dream team of contributors, editors and in-house staff. With the agency I have a great team of contractors and talented associates I work with.
Does human interaction play a part in the importance of what brings you joy in your work?
Absolutely, especially when you find yourself collaborating with talented like-minded folks. We are social beings after all.
Are there any books that you are reading now?
On the nerdy side of things: The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class by Scott Timberg, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow. Food Rules by Michael Pollan. And for fun: Moondog: The Viking of 6th Avenue by Robert Scotto and Lost At Sea by John Ronson.
Was there a fear you had to get over in order to take the step into taking on a team?
Not necessarily but I think you know in your gut if you’re working with the right people.
What is your idea of success?
Turning passion into a profession.
How do you navigate creative blocks or how to put your inspirations into play?
I’ve been very good at making things happen for myself; however, there seems to be overwhelming redundancy in the digital age. I’m still not sure if that reinforces the idea that we’re all connected evolutionarily or if there is an army of armchair copycats waiting to steal your idea once it hits the Internet. Either way, I’ve always maintained that one should listen to the conversation and do your best to add something authentic.
Can you name individuals who you feel are living their own passionate lifestyle?
There are so many to list but off the top of my head is graphic designer, Stefan Sagmeister. Film Directors, Werner Herzog and Erol Morris. Fashion Designer, Rei Kawakubo from Comme des Garçons. Neuroscientist, David Eagleman.
When spending your money or using products, do you look for ethical and environmentally mindful qualities in them?
I tend to purchase organic and ethically-minded products to do my part as a consumer.
Was taking your path into your own hands something that came easy for you in the beginning or did you struggle with it at first? What made you take the leap of faith?
The decision was pretty easy to make. I was in graduate school at the time on track to get my PhD and then become a professor. At night I was shooting bands for music magazines and in the middle of my third term I resigned, put $15,000 on a credit card to print the first few issues of Anthem and never looked back. That was a decision that came from the heart because all I wanted to do was be me, surround myself with like-minded creative individuals and get paid for it. You Are Here, my agency, was born out of the same ethos.
Do you have a secret spot or an activity that helps you be inspired.
The outdoors. I love living in the city but it’s busy and always frenetic. I hike, bike, surf, snowboard and ride motorcycles so being outside keeps me centered.
Do you feel that consumers / viewers are wanting to have more personal connection to how they spend their time and money ? What do you think that is?
Yes. There is a large segment of the population who are hungry for the facts and make more informed decisions as a result. Quality of life seems to be more important than ever and people are getting smarter about how they spend their time, the food they eat and what they buy.
What makes your business different than those in your same category?
There isn’t a huge barrier to entry to running a content and communications agency but we have an impeccable track record. From editing books, creating brand magazines, building awareness for companies, throwing events and digital marketing, I am truly proud of what we’ve built and the companies we work with.
Did you have a mentor growing up and do you have one now?
Yes. My mother. She’s my guru.