We had the good fortune of connecting with Brandon Espinosa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brandon, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success is “creating my own luck”. When I say “creating my own luck” it means not waiting for things to come to me and having a go-getter mentality. The time is never going to be perfect for you to chase your dreams and tackle your goals, you need to show up hungry every day and put yourself in environments that empower and catalyze the things you want. There are no shortcuts, you need to put in the work. Don’t give up and believe in yourself more than anything else! Often you are closer than you think and people are watching.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I founded The Salsa Project in 2018 after my first daughter was born in an effort to protect, preserve and ensure that Salsa music never dies. We do this through events, merchandise, documentaries, and an online platform that amplifies the voices of other creatives. The goal of the project has always been bigger than the music, it has and will always be about preserving culture and tradition which is why the birth of this project coincided with the birth of my daughter.
As I embarked on this project, I often viewed it as a passion project but not necessarily a business. The first fews years were tough as is with anything that is new and worth continuing. We were operating at a loss and only the support of a handful, but that did not deter us as I knew the dream was bigger than our current situation. Giving up after a couple of years would have been a huge mistake as we ultimately caught our first breaks (securing our first sponsor and working with talented musicians), which helped us get to where we are today and transition from passion project to business.
As we embark on our 4 year anniversary, I can’t help but think about my daughters who have been a constant source of inspiration, hope and optimism as we have built the business. They have pushed me to be better, to persevere and to always maintain a sense of optimism.
Given the aforementioned and thinking about the pivotal moments in The Salsa Project’s evolution, I am most proud of the persistence of the team to see our vision and goals come to life. When leading a business, it is very tough to do it alone so it is important to surround yourself with go-getters who feel empowered to contribute. My leadership philosophy has always revolved around servant leadership, leading by doing and realizing the sum of our strengths is always greater.
There are no shortcuts. Nothing is given, everything is earned.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am from the Bronx, New York. The borough often gets a bad reputation, but it is a wonderful place rich in culture. Here are some recommendations:
Eat & Drink:
– The Bronx Brewery
– Port Morris Distillery
– Mottley Kitchen
– Dino’s Pizza
– Kingsbridge Social Club
– Bronx Alehouse
– Suyo Gastrofusion
– Zona de Cuba
– Havana Cafe
– Chocobar Cortés
– Milk Burger
– Casa Amadeo
– Wave Hill
– Little Italy
– The Lit Bar
– Bronx Zoo
– Yankee Stadium
– Botanical Gardens
– Orchard Beach
Health & Fitness:
– Van Cortlandt Park
– Pelham Bay Park
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As they say “behind every successful man, there is a strong woman” and my wife is definitely that woman! She has been an important person in my life who I have been fortunate to build a family with and has been an integral part of the growth and evolution of The Salsa Project. Her support and continued commitment to the brand’s digital strategy has allowed us to achieve new heights and has helped the brand remain consistent and relevant. Thank you for all you do! Excited to see what the future has in store for our family and The Salsa Project. Here is to keeping the culture alive!
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