As I stood on the Spanish Steps looking out on the Piazza Nirvana, the location of my most recent success (a multi-million dollar fashion show with the top Italian designers broadcast live on three Rai TV channels, E! Europe and VH1), I knew my business life was pretty good.
I popped open the bottle of Dom and shared with my friends Elle MacPherson, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Daniela Peštová. OK, my business life was better than pretty good, it was amazing. I was surrounded by "Super Models" and being flown around the world on other peoples dime to create publicity. Even though at points, my job was the mental equivalent of shooting a firework into the air and waiting for the crowd to say "ohhh," I convinced myself fulfillment was over rated.
I was at the top of my game, and those type of moments had been reoccurring the prior five years and continued for another five thereafter. The pace required: harried, my approach: similar to a pit bull carrying a chainsaw in a china shop. I disregarded feelings, eliminated empathy, embraced narcissism and did anything needed for the client. I was a complete mercenary and embraced the role boldly even framing a film poster "This Gun For Hire" behind my desk.
The spoils went to the rich and I enjoyed all. Material items and money, well let's say that was never going to be an issue again. In quite moments, I always felt I was wearing someone else's suit.
Then, in late 2000 I took my successful business track record and bloated hubris into a new venture. One driven only for the pursuit of more cash. I should never have participated in it, as I wasn't prepared for it, but thought I would simply will my way to success. However, I ignored all warning signs of impending doom and my personal internal signs of discomfort and figured why wouldn't it be great? It always was prior.
More importantly, it conflicted with a new found moral compass I was beginning to discover.
And then, I lost everything. EVERYTHING!
However, what came next...
All my best,
The Big STIR
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