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Gay success and gay confidence
There are certain characteristics that many successful people have. These apply to straight and queer folks alike. Hear the three keys to gay success and gay confidence for both career and life. Make gaining gay confidence easier by getting your free copy of the 5 Building Blocks of a Happy Gay Life here.
Media mogul DJ Doran on gay success
This week we’re excited to introduce you to DJ Doran, the CEO of a multimedia company that serves the queer community. The story of how we connected with this influential entrepreneur is interesting and an example of how there’s no luck. Luck is when preparation meets opportunity and action is taken.
During our first iteration of Queer Money®, DJ’s team reached out to us to bring Queer Money® to his new internet radio station, KWIR Radio. KWIR Radio hadn’t yet launched, but after talks with DJ we agreed on the move. That partnership ultimately fizzled.
What did work out is a monthly column, also called Queer Money®, that the Debt Free Guys write for DJ’s newspaper, The Eagle. Better yet, we’ve established a rewarding and symbiotic relationship with someone who has the same passion and interest in serving the queer community as we do.
Hear DJ Doran talk about gay success on Queer Money®:
3 characteristics for gay success and gay confidence
Have you ever given up on something you now wish you hadn’t?
DJ Doran’s a serial entrepreneur. He’s been a pilot, hotel owner and investor, barista, magazine publisher, radio station owner and host, and now a publisher and ad agency. Throughout his career, he’s maintained his drive despite (many) apparent failures. He even admits to having more failures than successes but says he’s persevered because of his belief in his abilities and determination to succeed.
What others would call failures, he calls learning opportunities, returning to books anytime he needs help. He said, “If someone can read, understand and apply what they’ve read, they can do anything they want.”
DJ grew up in a conservative Irish/Italian family in the Bronx and, like many of us, was afraid to come out to his family whom he was afraid of losing. When he finally came out in his 30s after spending years running away from who he is, his mother ultimately said, “If you concentrate in being a good human being first and foremost, then everything you do, everything that you are, everything you’re involved in will be filtered through that and you’ll be okay.”
Despite having problems with his hearing, DJ shares on episode 21 of the Queer Money® podcast how he worked hard to become a pilot in the U.S. Reserves.
After he retired from the reserves and trying to figure out what’d he’d do next, DJ overheard a conversation in a coffee shop that he took as an opportunity for him and his husband.
DJ and his husband, Joe, have gone from rags to riches and rags to riches, again, and are on their fourth round of riches with their foray into media. We learn how they lived in Circus Circus in Las Vegas for $600 a month how they fought a former Hell’s Angel over a sailing magazine.
Doran’s naysayers attribute his success to luck, and his response is that luck has nothing to do with success. His success is contingent on his willingness to see opportunities and to learn.
DJ credits much of his successes to this openness to see opportunities. As with purchasing his first hotel, many people wouldn’t have seen that opportunity had they been sitting in that coffee shop that day.
While luck is preparation meeting opportunity, it’s courage that makes one act. This means one must tune out the external and internal negativity with which we all struggle.
Doran clarifies that it’s not about being fearless in business and life, an oft credited characteristic of successful people. It’s about overcoming the fear we all have.
Other than his time in the military, DJ’s never worked for someone else in his whole life. He credits much of that to his confidence in himself and his ability to constantly learn. DJ’s life and career is an example of what gay men can achieve when we’re wholly confident and persist.
Tacking or quitting for strategic reasons is a good business decision. Quitting because we think we’ve failed is leaving an opportunity on the table. Be crystal clear that you shouldn’t be tacking rather than quitting, and always persist.
Continue the conversation on gay success:
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We’re David and John Auten-Schneider, the Debt Free Guys (www.debtfreeguys.com) and hosts of the Queer Money® podcast. We help queer people (and allies) live fabulously not fabulously broke by helping them 1) pay off credit card debt, 2) become part- or full-time entrepreneurs and 3) save and invest for retirement.
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