We had the good fortune of connecting with Tony Estrada and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tony, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I use to be feast or famine. I figured whatever, happens, happens. I’ve paid the price for it a number of times and each time it has hurt, but it has made me stronger and I’ve learned an incredible amount in rapid time. I feel that the risks I took and the ways they did or did not turn out, helped me to be better because suddenly, I realized, life/business/brands aren’t made on one decision. It’s consistent, hard work that gives us the next stepping stone that we’re looking for. Now, every time I enter a scenario or a decision, I’ve stopped wondering so much “What I am going to get out of this?” but instead, “How can I learn the most from this and does this growth point need to happen right now?” It takes a lot of deep digging and soul searching, but when I get there I am able to enter the decision with my utmost dedication. Suddenly, things have become clearer and decisions that may seem high risky to others, yes, I still have fear towards because I am human, but I don’t let them control my decision making forward. I’ve always felt that when I emphasize pure intention, a decision or a move can never be risky. When it comes from a place of ego or desperation to prove our worth, that’s when we get ourselves into trouble. Trust me, I’m an expert in ego based, desperate decisions.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m most proud that I am still here. That I am still fighting every single day to continue to elevate the Latino/a/x voice. That each day I’m granted an opportunity to be a better leader, a better listener, and a better storyteller. The longer I can stay in the fight, the more opportunity I have to be able to help others along the way, and to hopefully, inspire people to live a life they’ve imagined for themselves. Connecting with people is a gift I was given and I am so proud that I get to share that gift with people through my work. I got where I am today because of an unwavering belief in myself, relentless determination, open & transparent communication, hundreds upon hundreds of mistakes, and trying to be as good to people as I possibly can be. I try to be as ruthlessly honest with myself and others in order to help us continuously grow and be better. For so long, I was so scared to think that I was enough. I felt that my opinions were “lesser than” because “Who am I, to think I’m qualified to speak?” Once I was able to (mostly) let that go, I really started to see my work and my leadership evolve to so much more than what it use to be. I am able to be more present and to give of myself more freely. My biggest challenge has been ME. 1000 percent, no questions asked. I’ve lost myself in my ambition far too many times and got caught up in needing to be something more than who I was and who I needed to be. It wasn’t until I recognized that I didn’t want to fake who I was to myself or to others, and that I wanted to live as authentically as I possibly could that things really started to shift and I found true self-confidence. In my need to get places really fast, I so often neglected what was most important to me — developing my voice. I wanted to share it, so that I can help connect us with one another. Connection is one of the fundamental things that helps us to see past our differences and see each other for who we really are. That is what I am so curious about. I will continue to work with my unbrittled ambition, in order to get to deeper levels of myself, so that I can be a better storyteller and better conduit for connection amongst people. Being present, as much as I can, and living with intention, instead of desire for perceptions has started to elevate everything that I do. I want people to know about my brand and my story that I am what you see. I’m not going to pull any punches with you. I’m going to continue to work every day to elevate the Latino/a/x voice forward and to tell stories in a way that helps to inspire, entertain, and offer new perspective. I feel so fortunate every morning when I wake up that I get to do this.

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?
My personal favorite restaurants in the LA area are: Guisado’s Phillipe’s French Dip Sandwiches The Taquito’s at Olvera Street Maccheroni Republic in Downtown Guerilla Tacos Are we seeing the taco theme as part of the overlying narrative? If it’s baseball season, Dodger Stadium is an absolute must visit. As a lifelong Dodger fan, I am biased, but the energy and the eclectic mix of people is absolutely electrifying. Of all the beaches to visit in LA, go to Hermosa Beach. It’s the most peaceful and down to Earth of them all. I also recommend everyone go to the quintessential LA spot, Griffith Observatory. It’s easily the best view of LA and on a clear day, there’s nothing quite as awe inspiring and breath taking. As a hardcore film nerd, I’d also recommend everyone check out a film at The Egyptian during their monthly programming. It’s such an excellent glimpse into our cultural past and a real piece of Americana.

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 someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Book – The Alchemist by Paulo Cohello and Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink The Alchemist was a life changer of a book. It taught me how to really trust my path. That even if I am on a journey with not the clearest vision, but good intention, life will rise up to meet me to give me the gifts and lessons that I never knew I needed. Extreme Ownership helped me to understand in the most definitive of ways, an organization goes the way of its leader. If you’ve felt that you’ve done everything you’ve could to succeed or communicate with someone, there’s probably one more layer that can be uncovered. One more thing that you can do. Accountability should have no end. My family has been there every step of the way of my journey and I will never ever be able to show them the amount of gratitude that I’ve felt each day of my life. I love you all so much. Thank you for everything. My friends have been there to keep me centered. They never let me get too high and lift me up when I am low. They always seem to know exactly what to say to ground me back to Earth. It’s great being surrounded by brutally honest individuals that will always have your back. There have been so many kind people along the way that as I write this, I’m awestruck at the amount of people that have helped to teach me, made introductions, and trusted me with their business. Each day, I take a moment to look back and am always moved at the tremendous influences Ive had every step of the way. Last, but certainly not least, I want to give a special shoutout to a dear friend, Michael Nicklin. Michael has pushed me to grow both in business and in life. His overwhelming kindness, knowledge, and objective approach to most everything has continuously helped to push me into new phases of self-acceptance and growth. I am overwhelmed by his remarkable generosity and his unyielding belief in me.

Website: officialtonyestrada.com
Instagram: @tonyestrada22
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/estradatony/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialtonyestrada
Other: www.esquaredentertainment.com

Image Credits
Joshua Lipton

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