We had the good fortune of connecting with Jacob Gago and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jacob, how do you think about risk?
Most homes teach their children – go to school, get a job after college, get married, save for retirement blah blah blah. I thought by following this safe system I’d be happy, make my family proud and be set. I worked 60-70 hours per week as a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) for one of the largest accounting firms in the world making close to six figures. It wasn’t long till I realized me playing it safe by working for someone was actually fulfilling their dream. This is the riskiest decision someone can make in their short life span. One day on my way to work a friend sent a post of an elderly lady on her death bed saying the biggest regret she had in life is not living her dream but enslaving herself working for someone else. This dramatically changed my life on the spot. I looked around the Metrolink train I was on and saw everyone’s face looking dreadful. You can tell on a Monday many were already looking forward to the weekend or daydreaming wishing they can achieve their goals. I thought within myself what is it I am afraid of? Going broke? Failure? Being laughed at? The truth to all these answers is the worst that can happen is not life-threatening. Since that day I’ve learned to accept taking risk involves “learning lessons” or
what others will call – failure. Many self-made millionaires today understand this concept. Regardless of failure they will make a $1,000 investment with possibly only $3,000 in their savings. A safe person will rather wait till they have maybe over $10,000+ before deciding to make the $1,000 investment but what do they lose? Time and opportunity. I only take risk on things that appreciate and not depreciate. Things that appreciate are like education, real estate, my businesses; and things that depreciate are name-brand cloths, cars, watching TV for hours etc. I understand risk can be hard for many but those who say they are risk adverse don’t realize how much risk they take every day. For instance, driving a car, exposure to food contamination (especially with meat), going to a 9-5 job that can fire you at-will (higher probability with older age). Taking risk has actually made me happier and more successful in life. Success is not only measured in money, but it is also having the ability to control your time and not someone else. The most important thing that keeps me going is remembering – YOLO (You Only Live Once). My goal is to be able to say in my last moments of leaving this world “I have no regrets because I actually went after my dream and enjoyed the process.”
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally? Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you have learned along the way? What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I had a wild childhood from an incident that left me in the hospital for 8 years. I for sure should have been 6 feet under the ground. I believe because of this horrific event I live a more grateful life and I am determined to make something out of the second chance I was given. After years of putting in over 10,000 hours, I am fortunate to wake up every day to work on music. I get to wear multiple hats of being a music producer, songwriter, and/or mixing/mastering engineer. I am blessed to have the ability to build songs organically that has allowed me to secure cuts across Pop, Hip Hop, Rock, EDM including TV & Film syncs. I also play the piano, bass, drums, guitar, and DJ. As one can imagine, no one day is the same for me which is what I believe sets me apart from most. I believe my success comes from the top 5 lessons I have learned thus far through my journey. Top 5 lessons: (1) you need people in order to reach your goal faster – stop trying to do it alone; (2) do not focus on the goal just enjoy the journey and trust God; (3) work smart, not hard towards your 10,000 hours; (4) time management, discipline, consistency, and patience are vital skills for success; and (5) self-sabotage is the number one killer of dreams. In addition, it is important to surround yourself with people, resources that uplift your spirit when things feel like it is not going right. I want to emphasize that talent is not everything nowadays you also need the other pie – relationships. Learning how to create sincere relationships allows you to inspire people to help you get what you want – again sincerely, not manipulation. I attribute most of me learning how to communicate from Dale Carnegie’s well-known book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and a few other books. Of course, in almost any endeavor there are challenges, but I always remind myself YOLO and the goal is to be able to say in my last moments before leaving this world regardless of unachieved goals “I have no regrets because I actually went after my dream and enjoyed the process.”
Let us 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 weeklong trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc. In your view what are some of the most fun, interesting, exciting people, places, or things to check out?
If my best friend was visiting Los Angeles. I think I will take them to the happiest place on heart – the DMV. Totally joking. I will of course take my guest to Hollywood just to get that out the way; one of the popular beaches like Santa Monica Pier and possibly even hiking at Runyon Canyon Road. There is always something going on in Los Angeles in the day and nighttime, so I am sure I will find a random event maybe comedy, food festival, music festival, or party.
Alright, so let us jump right in! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love, and encouragement of others. So, is there a person, group, organization, book, etc. that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? Who else deserves a little credit and recognition in your story?
I want to take the time to appreciate my wonderful and supporting team, family, friends and three people that really supported me to keep going since day one, God, the talented actor Blessing Oluwole and my late mentor Pastor Joshua Mateiwai.