We had the good fortune of connecting with Emmanuel Iheke, Jr. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Emmanuel, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
I hear it all the time. You hear it in all the songs, all the instagram influencers say it, and it’s become the tagline for so many mental health gurus that give advice on the internet: “Self love is the best love.” Our culture has adopted this doctrine for the sake of those helpless empaths who are often burned out by their responsibilities to other people. If I’m being honest, this doctrine very well might be something a lot of people need to hear sometimes so they can remember to slow down and take a day to themselves. That’s always a good idea. However, although it has helped many people, I believe this doctrine also carries the potential to nurture a new generation of self-centered people that no longer know how to show compassion to another person in need. As we preach ‘self-love’, we need to be vigilant in acknowledging the hurtful extremes and highlight the need for balance. Jesus said that there is no greater love, than the love that would cause a man to lay down his life for his friends. This is what I believe to be the ‘best love’ – it’s the love that encapsulates sacrifice for the sake of others. I believe that self-love is important, but it’s not important only for the sake of feeling good about yourself. And before I continue let me be clear, in no way am I insinuating that it’s bad to love yourself or bad to feel good about your self. It’s good to love yourself, but we must be reminded why it’s so important to love ourselves so we can find that balance, avoiding both the extremes of self-loathing and self-centeredness. The importance lies in another lesson that Jesus taught, He said that we should love others like we love ourselves. You see, loving ourselves is important for more reasons than just feeling good. Loving ourselves enables us to know what it means to love someone else. Loving ourselves help us to love others. It helps us know how we ought to treat others. That’s the end goal, that’s what will change the world – each and ever last person on this planet learning to loves themselves in order for them to know how to love someone else and treat them the way they would like to be treated. Choosing to love yourself should never be a pathway to more apathy, but one to a deeper knowledge of what it means to be compassionate.

What should our readers know about your business?
I’m the Founder of a brand called UN-ASSOCIATED. This is a media platform, and we create podcasts, videos and have a blog, and through all of these mediums we share a consistent message – the gospel. More specifically, the message we look to spread out to the youth of the world is to understand who God has created them to be – discover who they are. Knowing who you are affects how you approach literally everything in life, especially your trials and tribulations. Ultimately, we teach that you are not defined by your sins, your environment, what other people perceive you as or anything else the world’s got – who you are is who God has created you to be. Today we provide much-needed encouragement on a monthly bases to over 15,000 of our followers, listeners, subscribers, and readers. Our vision is to encourage millions more, if not billions. But of course, baby steps. It wasn’t easy getting here. Honestly, the work isn’t the hardest part, it’s the ability to remain faithful that has been the hardest part for me. So many things can go wrong while running a business: your site can crash, your social media engagement can fluctuate, your team can get busy with other matters, you can lose money, the list goes on and on and on. I’d be a liar if I said that there has never been a time where I’ve fantasized – yes, fantasized – about quitting. I’d think to myself, “What would it be like if I stopped it all and played it safe by getting a stable job and living a more private life altogether.” That temptation to quit is real. It creeps in through the cracks in you that were created from being hit hard with life. But in these times there is one thing that gets me back up every time. It’s the fact that I am doing what I was made to do. Every man (and I’d think every woman also) yearns for certainty. Although no one can be certain about everything, when we become certain of one thing, whether it mean something good or bad, we are able to become more focused and sometimes even more stubborn. There is one thing that I am certain of, and that is that I am currently doing what I was made to do. God created Emmanuel Iheke, called me a winner, then placed me in this world to inspire, uplift, and show compassion on others. Then He gave me a vehicle for this purpose in UN-ASSOCIATED. No matter what happens next, I know that I will overcome it and will continue to do UN-ASSOCIATED because I am certain that the righteous thing to do is to get back up and get back in line. This is the whole point I made before, remember? When you know who you are it changes how you approach everything in life – especially your trials and tribulations. If there is one thing I want the world to know about myself and UN-ASSOCIATED, it’s that we won’t go away until the Big Guy says no more. Until then, we are here to help you. Watch, listen and read if you’d life to discover more. I recommend starting at episode 84 of the Churchboy Confessions podcast.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Anyone that’s coming to San Diego must do themselves the favor of getting a California Burrito at Joaquins on Imperial and Euclid. You cannot leave here until you’ve had some great taco shop – you’ll regret it. After finishing half of the burrito (chances are you won’t be able to finish the whole thing) head over to Seaport Village and rent out a bike for $15/hr and ride along the pier. You won’t regret this. Make sure you see the sunset there, the reflection of the sun on the water will be great for a story post. Once it’s evening, grab some dinner in downtown – too many great places to eat downtown so just pick a place. Then when the night settles in, walk a couple blocks to Gaslamp Quarter and enjoy the nightlife. This is the plot. You’re welcome. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is a shoutout to Danielle Clayton. Danielle is the Editor-in-Chief of UN-ASSOCIATED, and my partner-in-crime. She is an amazing young woman who has truly helped me along my journey. Danielle is the woman behind www.un-associated.com – managing our writers, contributing as a writer herself, being an editor – this girl does it all, She truly does not get enough credit. I want Danielle to know that the UN-ASSOCIATED team is blessed to have her, I am blessed to have her, and by the time this woman becomes a best-selling author, the world will be blessed to have been exposed to her work. The passion this woman has for God and to inspire the youth of our world is amazing. There is nothing this woman does without there being some kind of message to it. She’s even started her own editing company called Edit Angel, editing the written work of complete strangers while working with them to help flesh out their visions with an amount of patience and subtleness that you wouldn’t believe. This woman is committed and faithful to her purpose here on earth, and this is the type of person that I would recommend every human to find as a close friend. I’m thankful to call Danielle my friend. If I were to just call her a fellow entrepreneur or colleague it would be injustice to how I feel about her. Although she literally lives 3,000+ miles away, Danielle is the friend that will remind you that you are a winner after you’ve lost. She’s the friend that will be there with you in your rise to the top and your fall to the bottom. She’s there – whether it be a phone call or text away – to make sure that her friend is okay, then even follow up days later to make sure her friend is OK OK! I thank God for bringing someone like Danielle into my life, and I pray for the person reading this, that God sends a Danielle to you that can help you the way she has helped me in my journey.

Website: www.un-associated.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/un_associated/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/unastdtweets

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unassociatedllc

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXrYSYol0SVy_yCw7bx6Weg

Other: Our ecommerce platform: https://uarelics.com/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.