Stranger 11, Day 11 – Meet Christian, the “Hustler”

Stranger 11, Day 11 - Meet Christian

Another “finally-I-meet-one-of-those-people-I-see-everyday-on-my-building-floor-but-never-say-hi-to” Stranger for today. Coincidentally (or maybe not so because we’re all on the same floor), today’s Stranger is a coworker of Dasha, Stranger 4. I have to say that this project is working quite well to meet people I see all the time, but never say hi to, and I’m happy I’m for now meeting them.

Before I go on a long tangent…

Meet Christian, 23

Who are you?

“I’m Christian… 23 years old… graduated from Georgia State last year… I’m a hustler.”

I admit that I also saw Christian featured in some article on Hypepotamus (same publication that yesterday’s Muriel writes for — you seeing how my daily interactions form a small world? Big chance you’re in a small world, too.). However, like I see Christian everyday, I didn’t click into the Hype article — Muriel, don’t be mad at me. I’ve read others. (See? Tangent.)

Christian continues to share with me his love of sports and meeting new people, especially “like-minded people”.

What are your passions? Your dreams?

“Have my own startup called Qoins… to have my own company, and be my own boss.”

Christian recalls how he grew up knowing he wanted to have his own company, but admits he didn’t know what it would be. At 9-years-old, Christian started a lawn mowing business by himself. He purchased his mower with his own money. He laughs and smiles as he stresses he even gave “receipts” to his customers — it was like legitimizing his small venture. In college, Christian rented out his apartment with Airbnb to pay bills. He even started his own clothing brand called Creation After Zo (“zo” = “life” in Greek) — also fitting his initials C.A.Z.

Christian stumbled on his idea with Qoins during college as he was facing loan debts. He realized the opportunity to use “change” by rounding up purchases and putting the money towards debt.

Christian relaxes a bit. It’s like he’s coming off a high of sharing his past and present endeavors. He looks at me and just says, “just hustling.”

What’s your biggest regret?

Christian shares that his biggest regret is more of a lesson learned — “being patient.” At this point, Christian tells me about how a “car dealership screwed me over.” He wanted a car badly, and went shopping without his parents. He shares how the dealership realized his lack of credit history, and took advantage of him to agree to high fees. You can tell he’s unhappy at the situation as well as a little embarrassed.

He shares how he has learned to be more patient so he wouldn’t rush into large purchases like that again.

Christian then shares how he takes risks all the time like traveling around the world without necessarily a plan. To which, I ask him…

Do you feel a lot of these “risks” of “experiencing life through traveling” are actually risks?

“Oh yeah, for sure.”

Christian shares how he travels all over world without really thinking about the outcomes… he just knows he’s figure it all out as he goes. He shares his travels to Barcelona, Panama, Paraguay, Chile.

As he looks back at his experiences, he also realizes how he had connected with so many different people all over the world. Now, he has “friends all over the world”.

What was your Life-Defining Moment?

“Actually had open-heart surgery when I was 16” for a congenital heart disease. Christian pulls a necklace from under his shirt sharing how his mother gave it to him before the surgery telling him, “keep this on… keeps you strong, keeps you safe.” And Christian has done just that.

“I haven’t taken it off ever since… I have no fear of doing anything. I feel like I can do anything. She’s always there.”

What do you want to be known for?

“Someone who worked really, really hard and didn’t give up.”

Someone who just “does it”, he shares.

He also shares how he may not always be the smartest person, but he surrounds himself with people who complement him. One person who he has great gratitude for is his Qoins cofounder — someone who helps him execute on the vision.

Christian remarks how the entire community at Atlanta Tech Village inspires him. As he looks around at all of the entrepreneurs, he’s motivated. “Need to do my thing, too!”

What are you doing today to help achieve your goals? (Thanks to Muriel, Stranger 10)

“Everything!”

Christian points out his dream again, “be my own boss.”

Mainly, Christian shares how he reaches out to many different people, even those key influencers. With confidence, he shares how these influencers may not know about him, but “they will”.

What question would you like to ask tomorrow’s Stranger?

“How do you take failure?”

After the handshake.

Again, I’m happy that this project has spurred me to meet those I see so often, but have yet to.

My question to Christian about whether the “risks he took to experience life” were actually risks were actually are grounded in my own perception of risk. For me, I’ve realized that opportunities to make money are plenty. The greatest risk is being stuck in a job or a state of my life that I’m unhappy with, or one that I am not pursuing that which I feel is greater for my life. What Christian does in traveling the world, to me, is of little risk. The risk would be not experiencing life traveling if that is what he really wants to do. Time is our most critical, limited resource.

Awesome to meet Christian. He’s a Stranger no more.

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