I’m thrilled to have “AOP” from the “The Art Of Purpose” as interview guest on my blog today.
If you don’t know him yet, here’s why I believe you should get to know him soon:
He has taken “Money Twitter” by storm this year.
AOP used the Covid crisis as a chance to adapt and use his skills to start something new in his life. Right from the moment when Covid hit first in March 2020, his Twitter account @creation247 started to defy “social media gravity” and soared quickly past many others – at light speed!
Today, we’re going to explore his background story and I’m most certain you can take away inspiration and valuable insights about how to imagineer your own dream life going forward!
Don’t just survive, thrive in the 2020’s!
Before you continue, please click “play” below and listen to AOP’s personal music recommendation for reading this post!
Background: Brahms only wrote 4 symphonies during his life as creator: Quality was everything for him.
Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the interview, shall we?
Q: Who is “The Art of Purpose”?
My Twitter name is “The Art of Purpose” or short AOP. I used to be an opera singer touring the globe with some of the biggest performers in the world. For the past 35 years I’ve been involved with all forms of art. First as student, then as creator, and now as teacher. As of now, I’m a certified public-school teacher with more 20 years’ experience.
Luckily, I discovered my passion to learn, perform and teach at an early age.
It was also from an early age that I saw many good artists creating beautiful work but how they remained “starving artists”.
In early 2020 I’ve started as “AOP” on Twitter with the aim of turning Twitter into my personal Art Gallery. The AOP Twitter account is about 90% of who I am in real life.
Without an alarm clock, I usually raise around 5 am to devote time for my online presence. This includes my Twitter account and my The Art of Purpose webpage. Once the sun rises, I’ll be a teacher and keep engaging with my online audience during my breaks.
If you do what you love, you won’t feel like working at all.
It rather becomes like some kind of computer game.
And we all know how addictive games can become – that’s why Creation247.
While I like to create and teach my lessons learned online, it’s my outspoken goal that artists got to eat and I don’t want to become a burnt-out, starving artist myself!
Q: AOP, how does someone go after finding their purpose?
It’s a sad fact but too many people go through life without having any plan at all. They wake up, go to work, go to sleep, and before they know it, get old. Their life will have zoomed by – and that was it!? If that’s you, you will fit in, but you will never stand out. For many thinking and reflecting about life is too hard.
Make it a priority to take the time to do so!
(Financial Imagineer: find your technique, some people swear on hiking, working out, practicing meditation, for me Jaccuzzi Beerstorming works best! )
Start by imagining who you’d like to become and what you’d like to achieve.
Write your thoughts down. Use this as your mission and vision statements. This must be your compass. Re-read it from time to time. Stick to it mostly, however, don’t aim for perfection, let yourself and the idea of your future self evolve and allow a certain degree of flexibility as well.
Keep asking yourself: What is YOUR best life? What is YOUR purpose?
Today is the first day of the rest of your life!
Q: Did you have a “Pivot Point” in life?
There were actually two distinct pivot points in my life so far.
The first one was back in my early 20s: I had a negative net worth. One morning I woke up and decided to no longer be poor. I wanted to become wealthy! The key lesson here is: It was a mindset shift. It all starts with mindset! The day I decided to no longer be poor and instead become wealthy was the day my mind got primed: I am going to make this happen.
Once my mind was aligned, I had to take action. The very first step was to get rid of my loaded GT Mustang Convertible. If you are not a millionaire, don’t act like one!
I immediately drove my gas guzzling Mustang to the very next car dealership and exchanged if for a Nissan Leaf – an electro car. Imagine that!
The line of thought was: Since I will take my family on the journey to get wealthy, I got to make a big sacrifice first to make a point visible to everyone. At first, they all thought I’m crazy. But hey, seven years from that “point” we actually became millionaires!
The facts behind the scene: By tackling the car costs I managed to reduce the annual commuting costs (in terms of gas only) from $7,000 for the Mustang with 20 miles per gallon to an e-powered 7 cents per kilowatt solution. This alone resulted in new commuting costs of $150 per year. This swapping yielded a recurring saving opportunity of $6,500 – annually – which went right away into the stock market in tax sheltered accounts. Boom!
You do the math.
That set my dreams to get wealthy in motion.
The second tipping point was during the Corona Virus crisis in early 2020.
One evening I logged into my account and realized a double comma figure popped up.
It has happened. Age 39: Millionaire!
At first, I expected this point in life to feel different. But there was nothing special about it. We celebrated, we were happy, our plan worked out, but hey: Life goes on. What’s next?
That’s when I decided to start sharing my path and story and help others. I needed a platform. I had been on Twitter before, but more as a reader, a consumer.
Now, I decided that I’d like to give back and teach others how to become creators and influencers in the new world! That’s when and why I started my Twitter account @creation247.
Comment by Financial Imagineer: If you’d like to, you can read more about these crucial pivot points on my blog post “The Day I Became a Millionaire”.
Q: How did you prepare yourself? How did you get started?
As mentioned earlier, I’ve been trained to be a professional performer in all arts. I also used to read a lot about persuasion skills from Scott Adams. You take all this add it together and cross it with me playing video games for 8-9 hours a day. You could say my life led up to this point where I was fully equipped to take that next step to start my online story!
In order to create AOP I used all my knowledge, the best knowledge and insights available in the world, to take the step and become an influencer. You could call the AOP account a well designed persuasion hack, it combines the picture of Brad Pitt with beautiful paintings that speak to the audience with a strong and convincing voice. The overall package combines things you’re familiar with but haven’t heard or seen before in this exact way.
For me going to social media and becoming an influencer was like levelling up my computer games skills and creating something to inspire others to take action to improve their lives.
Q: What was your learning curve? Do you have any tips for others who like to follow your footsteps?
Playing computer games is fun. But hey, let’s face it: It’s also a huge waste a lot of time! Time you will never get back anymore. Creating something as an artist, be it online or not, may not be as easy as it may seem. First and foremost, it’s a lot of work.
After having started the AOP Twitter account in May 2020 I gained 470 follows, in June I just managed to add another 100 follows. Later on more follows came faster. Growth and success never come in a linear form. During those first months I was posting very decent stuff, the same level quality as now with more than 17,000 follows.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.
My learning curve was to focus more on networking and connecting with others [on Twitter]. I aimed at figuring out how “to play the game”. I can confirm, if you really want to grow on Twitter, you got to connect with others. One of the biggest benefits of doing so is you can get connected with some of the smartest people in your field.
They are literally just one mouse click away!
Recently I’ve started an online course to teach people interested in exploring this path.
My online course “Create 24/7” starts with a Twitter growth book and comes with additional video modules. More modules being uploaded in the future: It’s a truly unlimited Twitter growth course!
You can find my course here: “Create 24/7: The Blueprint to Unlimited Content Creation”
Q: What does “success” mean to you?
Success can be defined in many ways.
Not everyone can become “the wealthiest” person in life.
For me success means being strong enough to help others, at first providing for my family.
Right after that comes being able to walk my own path and avoiding starving artists syndrome while doing so.
To me success means: Fulfilling your purpose.
Q: What is your success formula?
My success formula revolves around my family values. At times, I can be a pretty competitive person – but all I want is a building a better life for my family. The “formula” could be broken down into three main pillars.
First: College education.
Thanks to a scholarship I got a college education without student debt!
Having an academic background shaped my mind to constantly research anything that interests me – in depth. When getting into a new subject, I can spend hours and hours to find and study the best information available. Make it a priority to learn everything you can from the best.
Second: Take action
Once you start getting relevant information, learn how to use it and act upon it. Becoming successful is a lot of learn by doing. Don’t just accumulate theoretical knowledge without ever taking action. Get started, learn from mistakes, and keep going.
Third: Never be denied!
If you want something, go out and get it. Determine the cost – be it your time, your effort, and/ or money – and if you deem it worthwhile: Pay the price!
Never be denied.
The above are the three main ingredients that defined my personal growth trajectory.
When it comes to money, you should also do the same things as mentioned above, learn from the best…
…educate yourself, take action and go for your goals despite naysayers.
Especially for money, my extra advice is to automate as much as possible. If interested you can read more about how to do this in my blogpost “Automate Your Life to a Million”.
Beware who you’re surrounding yourself with.
You become the average of the five people you spend time together the most.
Similarly consume news or music carefully. Anything that you let to your mind is influencing you in a way. Avoid getting programmed.
Control the quality of what you consume!
The quality of what you consume is what you become.
Q: What inspired you to “build” your life?
In my life I was blessed to grow up and study with and from the best since I was a child. My inspiration came from the best teachers, the best artists and later the best writers and online sources I could find in this order.
For going online, I got mainly inspired by the fitness guys and mindset hack bloggers.
Let the main take away be this: No matter what you do, learn from the best and learn how to play the game!
“When you play hockey, you don’t go where the puck is at, you go where the puck is going.” Wayne Gretzki
With the above quote in mind, “playing Twitter” is NOT different.
As of now, I have around 1,000 tweets prepared on the side and I’m observing the “mood of the day” to play my best tweet accordingly!
Q: How do you make decisions?
First and foremost and as mentioned before, family comes always first for me!
Beyond that: Have a plan.
Know where you’re going. See the big picture. When caught up in the moment, remain flexible, flexibility is key to improve yourself. Keep an open mind, try to always keep all options open.
This doesn’t translate in me changing my course all the time. No. But if I happen to come across new superior information, I’m more than willing to drop my old beliefs and adapt.
This is a super crucial aspect for making good decisions during the information age. Our world is constantly evolving at speeds unimaginable just a few decades ago.
The most adaptable survive, not the strongest ones.
Comment by Financial Imagineer: Click to read how to make a 5 year plan with your partner to design your life.
Q: How will digitalisation shape our lives in the next 10 years?
I’m a kid of the 1980’s and remember how back in the days, when the internet was in its infancy, its builders believed in being able to solve the wealth inequality issue by democratizing access to information!
A few years fast forward and we know: The exact opposite happened.
Poor people don’t know what to do or how to work with information.
Rich people use information and improve.
In fact, the internet somehow made the problem worse!
Right now we can still say we’re in the infancy of social media in some way. We’re slowly seeing how mainstream media is on its way out. Ultimately it will get replaced. Users prefer to consume content from social media instead. Their timelines are highly customized and each person has their “own channel” in a way.
We have now personalized news on demand on a global scale.
Nothing beats unfiltered information from bloggers, from influencers and from people who have something to say.
Unfiltered information coming from the heart is unbeatable.
That’s why I believe digitalization will create huge opportunities for many to build their own brand. Start today, begin your brand, and understand how to use social media instead of consuming from it.
My vision for the AOP account is to create the best course on content creation that there is!
Comment by Financial Imagineer: Read more about how to thrive in the 2020’s on my blog post “The 2020$ – Thriving In The New Decade”
Q: What would you recommend for living a happy life?
It’s an amazing fact: 75% of all people believe money buys you happiness. But only a few people know that happiness somehow plateaus at an annual income level of around $70,000.
From well researched studies it was also shown: If you won the lottery or you lost your limbs – you will be overjoyed or depressed at first but eventually your level of happiness will revert to your mean, no matter what.
This is called hedonistic adaptation.
That’s why my recommendation for young people is to get familiar with stoicism.
It teaches the development of self-control and fortitude as a means of overcoming destructive emotions. Being stoic is being calm and at times without any emotion.
When you’re stoic, you accept whatever is happening. This is the one part where you can truly control your level of happiness!
Happiness = Expectations – Reality.
Q: What is your personal ultimate goal in life?
I imagine myself having real estate in a few places around the world. Ultimately my dream revolves around having beach access. My home base is and will be Texas.
No matter what will happen, I still want to be engaged on social media, learning, growing together with you!
Thanks for your time and sharing your insights with my readers today AOP!
If you’re interested to grow your Twitter or become a creator of some kind, please feel free to reach out to us and stay connected for more! Never ever in the history of humankind was spreading your ideas with a global audience as easy as today. The world is wide open and hungry for good content.
If you liked this interview please share it (social media buttons are below, comment, retweet) or leave a comment below about what you think would be interesting to learn about imagineering your life in the 2020’s!
Learn from the best,
Matt, Financial Imagineer
If you’d like to read more from AOP, click here to join “the rebellion” and to add yourself to his newsletter or follow him here on Twitter.