Today we’d like to introduce you to Big Mike.
Big Mike, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Cars saved my life. As a youngster growing up in Southern CA, I looked up to a lifestyle and culture that would have eventually left me incarcerated, or dead. If you look for trouble you will find it, and the people I surrounded myself with and the way I behaved were nothing but trouble. But growing up in southern CA in the 90’s also provided me the opportunity to be exposed to a golden era of cars and car culture – and it was love at first sight. As I grew so did my appreciation for different styles of cars, and I observed, studied, and retained what I saw in the streets and especially in the magazines I would look at and read over and over again. I was too young to buy a car of my own, so I spent a lot of time imagining what I would get and how I would modify it, I dreamed of cruising all over So Cal with friends, entering and winning car shows, and the ultimate accomplishment… being featured in a print magazine.
As I got older, I started to move away from my troublesome past and turned my attention to the cars and car culture I had fallen in love with. After some time, I was able to purchase my first car and began the process of taking the pictures and ideas that had been in my head and making them a reality. Slowly but surely my first car transformed and I was honored to have it featured in one the print magazines I grew up reading. I then purchased a different chassis and began its transformation, with that car build I ended up being bestowed with the huge honor of having it shot in 2008 in a photo-studio as the cover car and main feature of the same magazine that featured my previous build.
Over the next ten years, my build would go on to win numerous car shows and after each redesign would be featured on the cover of magazines from the US to the UK. I met so many people at car meets and shows and then, with the growth of the internet and forums, I met even more people and came to realize and acknowledge the growing presence of friends, fans, and followers. “With great power comes great responsibility.” Those words struck me the moment I came to realize that people were following me. Knowing that others looked up to me and my words, actions, and behavior, my responsibility to those people and the community and culture I’m a part of came into a new kind of focus. And thus the idea and premise of what would become the present-day Think Bigger Project and the Think Bigger Podcast was born.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Absolutely not. But anything worth having is worth working for. I can think about and talk about all of the struggles that I have had, are having, and those that will come up in the future, but rather than focus on the struggles I’m choosing to focus on the mission and the vision. “PASSION. DRIVE. FOCUS.” That is one of the credos of the Think Bigger Project as a brand and company, and this is why: Everyone loves to talk about passion and they speak of it in a way that I believe leads people to be fooled. Having the emotion and energy that comes with legitimately being passionate about something is powerful and incredible, but that in and of itself is not enough. Life is not a fairy tale and making dreams a reality can be a very long and difficult road. In addition to having passion you need to have drive. You need to be so driven and determined to succeed that you will embrace the hard work. and do it without thinking twice. Drive is your work ethic and your will to persevere no matter what. And finally, you need to focus on the goal and dream that you have. Keep your eyes on the prize and don’t let anyone or anything distract you. Stay focused! PASSION. DRIVE. FOCUS.
Please tell us about Think Bigger Project.
The Think Bigger Project is a movement, brand, and company that inspires individual growth to in turn strengthen the community. We create and provide quality content and merchandise that people of any age are proud to watch, listen to, and wear. Each design, vlog, and podcast episode is rooted in positivity and fosters personal growth, self-awareness, and progression. In a world where attention and fame are the goal and ridiculousness is rewarded, the Think Bigger Project exists to shift the focus back to the basics and the fundamentals that will always stand the test of time. TBP, Inc. is a non-profit organization that is comprised of the Think Bigger Project, and the Think Bigger Podcast, Additionally, we provide digital content in the form of vlogs that can be found on YouTube as well as on IGTV. I’m most proud of the profound impact that the movement and way of thinking that the Think Bigger Project promotes and represents has on the individuals it reaches.
From young people who may not have grown up with a positive role model or someone to instill in them a work ethic, to adults who can’t relate and don’t like the foolishness and narcissism that social media stokes in its users, to elders and parents who are happy to see a company and brand promote things that they wish they saw more of, I receive feedback and support from a broad and varied demographic of people. That in and of itself proves that the premise of mission of The Project transcends standard categorization because it is about the human and the human experience as we live life. That in turn is what sets us apart from others, we exist entirely better the community and the culture we are a part of. We are not about profit, we are about people.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
The plan is to continue to create and produce for the community. From podcast episodes to vlogs on YouTube and IGTV, to each and every merchandise release – everything is rooted in positivity and promotes personal growth. The feedback and messages I get from people who have caught wind of the movement and have subscribed to the podcast and who purchase the merchandise are deeply humbling and quite intimate. They are heartfelt and sincere and each and everyone let me know that I’m on the right track. I sincerely believe that within each person is the want/need to be a part of something great – something bigger than themselves – and what’s greater than spreading positivity and individual growth to in turn better the community and world around us? That’s what the Think Bigger Project is all about, and that is what we will continue to do and provide for in the future.
- Website: ThinkBiggerProject.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the VoyageLA Podcast:
Episode 1 with Content Partner Lisa Taitelman, Founder of Hiking & Wellness company Find Your Trail.