Episode 31: Multi-passionate Entrepreneurs Series with Ian Grossman: Realtor, Non-Profit Leader, Podcaster

“I went from teaching 10 year olds to dealing with adults, not knowing anything about finances or about real estate. You can either continue not knowing, or you can just ask someone. Sit down with people who are good at what you're not good at. A lot of people don't want to do that. Don't have shame in not knowing the answer.” – Ian Grossman

Ian Grossman was loving the impact he was able to have while working as a 4th grade teacher in an underprivileged school. However, he wasn't loving the paycheck, the lack of growth opportunity, and how it was taking over his life. When he heard about getting into real estate as a way to make some extra side money during the summer, he went all in, and now it is his main source of income. Being able to be his own boss and manage his own time has actually allowed him to make way more of an impact in his community than he ever could have as a full time teacher. The Ian Grossman of today is a realtor at Keller Williams, ATX leader of the non-profit Community Bucket, father, friend, and fellow podcast host of “What’s Brewing ATX.”


This month on the Thrive On Life Podcast, we're spotlighting ATX men and women who are work on/in multiple jobs/orgs/projects to help the community. They do not allow their “title” to define what they can or cannot do and they keep challenging themselves to learn new things, and help others do the same. Some points discussed in this episode:

  • What inspired Ian to become a teacher
  • How he then realized teaching wasn't it for him
  • What to do when you're stuck debating whether you should do “THE THING” or not
  • How Ian went from knowing nothing about real estate to making it his own and having fun with it
  • How a background in teaching helped his real estate career
  • How the education system is failing today and the alternate path you can take
  • Ian's advice for someone wanting to start a side hustle

“A lot of people get trapped into thinking, you’re a teacher forever. 5 years turns into 25 very quickly. Rather than realizing you can go on this other private path, making your own money, and actually make more of an impact on the education system than you ever could as a teacher. And you can always go back.” -CJ Finley

Community Bucket is a non-profit organization that brings together like minded young professionals, moving to new cities, who want to meet new people and give back to the community. The organization pairs a volunteer event with a social event immediately following at a brewery or restaurant. The next event is the Love Your City event, on Saturday, February 15th at Colony Park. Head here for details: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/atx-love-your-city-tickets-89293331759

Connect with Ian Grossman:
IG: @realestate_atx, @communitybucket_atx, @whatsbrewingatx
Youtube Channel | Community Bucket | What's Brewing ATX

Connect with CJ Finley and Thrive On Life:
IG: @thriveonlife, @thriveonfit, @thrivepreneur, @cj.finley
Website: https://thriveonlife.com




Current MOOD: I live, love, laugh, cry, sweat, bleed, exhaust myself for this mission I am on. And nothing I could ever write could express the feelings I get when I think back to where this all began. ThriveOnLife started because of stress, illness, and death. Yet, today it is what keeps me wanting to LIVE above and beyond my wildest dreams while also helping others do just the same. 


If you had asked me 10 years ago, lets say at High School graduation, “CJ where do you see yourself in 10 years…” I would cringe at what I would have said.


-Raffle off a list of achievements I didn't really care about while molding it to sound respectable to the audience, one that I thought would make my parents proud, an answer that spewed lingo to abide to the conformity of what society wanted from me. 


Here's the real story to it though.

  • I live in a state I would have laughed at back then.
  • I live in a city that I never even heard of until after college. 
  • I am married to the girl I loved at the age of 10, yet did not deserve until age 24. 
  • I am not the engineer, athlete, or “manager” I thought I would be…I am better, and my metric has nothing to do with money or the status of those titles. I am a better where it counts…a HUMAN that strives to be a better man, friend, family member, husband each and every day.
  • I am wholeheartedly ME. Tattoos, fitness, bookworm, adrenaline junky, and so so so much more. 


And it feels so amazing to finally say that. 


But if you know me, one I like to talk and say things lol, but two…I LOVE ACTION! I love those that DO and ACHIEVE, not just say. And I have worked my ass off for years to lead by example.


Fortunately, this has led me to a team that is on a mission to help the world. While ThriveOnLife started years ago, it's real journey starts now. We are building a team of DOERS who are passionate about educating fellow humans on what is really important in this world. THRIVING has nothing to do with your current income, neighborhood, or car that you drive…and everything to do with WHO you are as a person, WHAT legacy you will create, and WHY it all matters to you in the first place.


STAY TUNED AS WE CONTINUE TO BUILD. If you'd like to be a part of the construction, please connect with us!


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One Way to Stay Motivated as an Entrepreneur.

It’s draining, it’s tiring and it’s demanding….. But how do you stay motivated? 

You have no supervisor, or no manager to congratulate you… no one to pat you on your shoulder for a job well done. You are your own boss….. So how do you stay motivated?

You celebrate the SMALL wins.

Motivation is temporary like a short surge of dopamine to the brain. It must be fueled and re-fueled to keep you going. The key to keep yourself driven is:

  1. Celebrate the SMALL wins.
  2. Find joy in each completed task. Perceive them as PROGRESS.  
  3. Engage in positive self-talk CONSISTENTLY. 

The SMALL wins eventually amount up to BIG ones.

It’s All a Process. Here’s how I do it…

Big tasks are daunting. Big tasks broken down into 3-5 smaller ones are reasonable and actionable. 

When I plan out my week, I strive to set 3 KEY objectives for everyday. Taking time to identify what these 3 KEY objectives are, is essential. These objectives should be things that further your progress as an entrepreneur and move you in the right direction. 

Completing these 3 objectives = Successful day.

Break these 3 objectives down into 3-4 smaller tasks and you have a gameplan for EXECUTION.

I like to keep it visual…

Whether I am using project management tools like Trello, iPhone Reminders or simply just a notepad, I like to keep my progress visual.

Trello – Project Management Tool

Like pictured above, I like to cross my tasks off as I go. This physical action of crossing a task off brings me internal satisfaction. It helps me realize that no matter how big the end goal may be, I am now one step CLOSER… 

And this..

Reinforces my POSITIVE self-talk.

This positive self reinforcement drives me to complete the next task, and then the one after, and so on and so forth… until I have successfully achieved the objective at hand. 

Do you see the loop? 

After breaking down your key objectives into tasks, you have a gameplan for ACTION. 

When you complete each task and celebrate the SMALL win, you find joy in each completed task because it’s PROGRESS. This leads you to engage in POSITIVE self-talk and drives you to complete the next task…

..and the cycle repeats

But it starts by….

Celebrating the SMALL wins.

I want to end with this…. 

Whether this may be applicable in life, business or anything, I find this short quote by Jocko Willink to be very useful.

If you are getting overwhelmed or things are just not working in your favor, 

take the time to…

“Reload…Re-calibrate…Re-engage…and go out on the ATTACK.”

Unlock Yourself.

Hamza Abdallah

How to Land an Internship at a Start-Up.

Curiosity, Sincerity, and an Unwavering Desire to Learn…. Practice these traits and it will get you more in life than just an internship.

If you are looking to intern with a start-up, then you already know the multitude of benefits of working with one. If you're not sure how to pick or how to get started, I would suggest:

  1. Find your niche industry. It should be something that you're PASSIONATE about, something that excites you and doesn't feel like work.
  2. Narrow in on a start-up that aligns with your personal MISSION in life. A firm that complements your personality, skills and goals in life.
  3. Get out of your comfort zone and REACH OUT to the founder(s). Express your intentions with sincerity

Be Genuine. You are there to LEARN from them and seek their mentorship. Not to get a job to simply slap on your resume.

Here's How I Got Mine…

without expecting it.

There was a Social Media Marketing panel at the Herb Kelleher Entrepreneurship center at UT Austin hosted by Owais Raza and his podcast Crushing It (dope for college entrepreneurs). I had originally gone to show support for a fellow friend and rapper Ariea Bastami, but along with the other guests on the panel, CJ Finley was one of them.

After hearing him talk for just about 20 minutes, I knew I had to get to know him more. Hearing about his journey in fitness, building several start-ups & his mission to HELP others reach their goals, I realized he is basically living out my aspirations…

After the panel…

I made my way through the crowd & approached him.

Excitedly, I shared how similar our goals were and told him about my business aspirations! I eagerly asked for his advice on how I could kickstart my entrepreneurship journey right away as a freshman.

After one of the most brief & engaging conversations I've had, I was totally geeking out…. I could immediately tell we were going to click.

But that wasn't enough….

I realized I had a LOT to learn from him and I absolutely HAD to get another meeting in with CJ.

At the end of our conversation, I asked him if we could link up for lunch. He said I'd have to wait a month to do so because he was involved with a project with SXSW. It was better than nothing & was something to look forward to.

Diligently, I put in a reminder in my phone to to follow up with CJ

…in a month

Go with the flow…Don't force it.

I approached CJ because I was GENUINELY hooked on his story. Hearing him on the panel, I knew I wanted a 1 on 1 session with him BUT….

..who would want to spare time to meet a random stranger ??

I had to establish a meaningful CONNECTION first. I had to show him a REASON to meet me.

Want to get value from others? Start a meaningful conversation with them and it could take you a long way… it worked for me. Go with the flow…Don't force it.

After a month…

…it was time for the meeting.

Pumped to finally get some actionable guidance, I showed up with questions already drafted. Going into the meeting, I really just hoped to get his advice on how I could tackle my entrepreneurship journey as a college freshman..

In the midst of talking, I expressed to him how I was struggling to focus on growing my start-up while also trying to fulfill the need for an internship.


you guessed it…

…CJ was looking for an intern.

Sincerity goes a long way…

We weren't even talking about business when it happened.

As we were both sharing stories of the journey of our life, the sincerity of the conversation opened doors for mutual benefit.

I went into the meeting only hoping for a few pointers & advice…

but instead I came out with an IMPACTFUL connection.

The internship offer was just the cherry on top.

Follow My Journey…

What am I doing this summer? Why am I writing this blog? How am I learning about Business Consulting? What is it like to work in a start-up?

The goal of documenting & sharing my journey with you all is to hopefully HELP YOU in any way to get one step closer to YOUR goals.

Let's get connected! Follow me on Instagram @unlockinghamza or email me at [email protected] and let's see how we can help each other!

We are in the process of building something greater than ourselves, and I want y'all to tag along with me.

Now Take Action.

Taking action is the first step…

Email/Call/DM a founder(s) RIGHT NOW. REACH OUT to a person whose ideals you resonate with and genuinely ask them for their mentorship.

Start a meaningful conversation and see where it takes you…

Go Unlock Your Potential.




Hamza Abdallah

Striving daily to inspire others and myself to UNLOCK our true potential.

Let's Connect !

Instagram: @unlockinghamza

Email: [email protected]

Episode 10: #thriveonwife w/ Erin Finley

In this week’s episode I have the luxury of interviewing my wife @erin.spiration aka Erin Finley. We are on vacation in San Diego, so I thought it would be the perfect time to ask her some questions. Tune in to hear more about how she overcame health complications, tragic loss, and other obstacles in her life…only to remain positive and continue the pursuit of her passions. Unfortunately, I had no clue anchor cuts off episodes at 60 minutes so the end was cut off. Trial and error everyone, just have fun with it!

Spotify: Episode 10: #thriveonwife w/ Erin Finley

Anchor: Episode 10: #thriveonwife w/ Erin Finley

Apple Podcasts: Episode 10: #thriveonwife w/ Erin Finley

Episode 9: ThriveOn Iteration w/ CJ Finley

Have you ever been scared to start something new? Or fearful of the consequences of quitting something and moving on? Yeah me too! Listen in as I talk about how constant iteration is the key to breaking the fear that will ultimately help you find happiness and fulfillment in your life.

Spotify: Episode 9: ThriveOn Iteration w/ CJ Finley

Anchor: Episode 9: ThriveOn Iteration w/ CJ Finley

Apple Podcasts: Episode 9: ThriveOn Iteration w/ CJ Finley

Episode 8: ThriveOn Profound Impact w/ Faiez Rana.

What things, people, and experiences have left a profound impact on your life? This week Faiez and I dig deep into the specific books, people, and experiences that have helped us over the course of our journeys. Tune in and start to think less about where you want to go in life, and more about the the amazing things that have happened to get you to where you are currently at.

Spotify: Episode 8: ThriveOn Profound Impact w/ Faiez Rana.

Anchor: Episode 8: ThriveOn Profound Impact w/ Faiez Rana.

Apple Podcasts: Episode 8: ThriveOn Profound Impact w/ Faiez Rana.

Episode 7: ThriveOn Friendship w/ Jeff McSweeny

It’s important in life, and especially the world of entrepreneurship, to have friends that support you through all the ups and downs. This week we have Jeff McSweeny, one of my life long friends who has helped me grow as a friend, person, and entrepreneur. Tune in to hear about how we went from privately building blogs, to hosting masterminds, to failing in pursuing a product patent…but ultimately learning to invest in ourselves and win in the important areas of life. #thriveon

Spotify: Episode 7: ThriveOn Friendship w/ Jeff McSweeny

Anchor: Episode 7: ThriveOn Friendship w/ Jeff McSweeny

Apple Podcasts: Episode 7: ThriveOn Friendship w/ Jeff McSweeny

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