Today we’d like to introduce you to Howard Rapp.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Howard. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My story is an unconventional one, even for the so-called ‘misfits.’ I dropped out of high school with a third-grade reading level and a class rank of 499/457. The fact that I’m a high school dropout has been both a blessing and a burden over the years. It has also been the primary driving force that keeps me going.
As a teen, I was told that I’d never be successful. This wasn’t the case just once. It was happening on almost a daily basis. Looking back, I see why many people felt that way. I was the severely misguided teen whose lack of education, and even greater lack of desire to learn, left others both confused and unable to help. Even when the hard-hitting few tried, I turned their assistance away.
Let’s fast forward past me having obtained a GED, earned an Associate’s degree, earned a Bachelor’s degree, and continue with me in law school. Yes, you heard that correctly. The misguided high school dropout attended law school at the University of Miami School of Law, where I studied business and intellectual property law.
This was a major milestone in my life both intellectually and financially. More importantly, it taught me who I was and what I wanted my life to represent. The coursework was great and the professors were some of the greatest minds, literally, in their fields. But that’s not what did it for me. It was the severe failure I endured while seeking the guidance of those great minds I mentioned a moment ago.
I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 18 years old. I’ve had many companies fail and, to be honest, I’m proud of them all. Many people hide their failures, especially as entrepreneurs, because they’re ashamed that something they created didn’t work out. I was this person for many years. It’s only natural. Having a failing company may cause some to see you as a ‘wantrepreneur.’ Those people are idiots, successful or not. Failure is literally the biggest blessing in life as it is the one thing that simultaneously advances both you and mankind at the same time.
Failure doesn’t mean you’ve failed. For example, I was interviewed by VoyageMIA in July 2018. At the time, I owned a video production company, Gold Palm Productions, which I started while in law school. I had just stopped outsourcing and brought the entire operation in-house. My profit margins were very high and it was somewhat easy to scale. However, there were two issues: (1) I didn’t enjoy the videos I was creating (e.g., canned 60- 90-second corporate videos that paid very well but were equally as boring) and (2) I couldn’t inspire others to sell our services because I lost the passion I once had for the videos we were producing. My goal was to scale the business throughout the U.S., and then go globally. I had a business plan, marketing plan, and financials mapped out. It was all there, but the passion was gone. I decided to close Gold Palm Productions and follow my passion for writing.
I returned to screenwriting, then pursued copywriting more seriously than I had been over the years. As a freelancer in law school, I wrote tons of copy for startups around the globe. My clients were mostly the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Great question! The road has been anything but smooth. In fact, it’s filled with awkwardly shaped jagged-edge pebbles, at a 72.1-degree slope, and I’ve been trekking barefoot with no calluses.
Seriously, it’s one fire after the next…
A few of the most significant struggles I’ve faced along the way were (1) believing passion and purpose will drive success over the pursuit of money, (2) learning when and how to let go and pivot, (3) being your best you as a result of successfully actualizing both (1) and (2), and (4) learning how to fail successfully.
John C. Maxwell once said, “Ninety percent of all those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit.”
Gold Palm Productions – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
KindlePitch specializes in connecting high-quality mentors and mentees with the intent to develop meaningful mentorships. We call these mentorships career friendships because valuable mentors become friends and their guidance often continues for many years.
Our platform is video based and gets its name from the Kindle Pitch, a 60-second or less video describing why you would be either a good mentor, mentee, or both. Pitches are meant to be both concise and raw. Honesty is key as it is what will set you apart from others. The point of the Kindle Pitch is to kindle the relationship between the potential mentor and mentee. Interpersonal chemistry is critical to the success of a mentorship. Being able to get a sense of who someone is through video will help both individuals know early on whether it might not work out.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Well, I wasn’t a child in every sense of the word, but I remember a time when I was around 11 or 12-years-old that still stands out today. I’m originally from Westchester, NY, just outside of New York City. My parents would drive me into the City to see my great aunt, who lived in a decent area of town. Coming from humble-ish beginnings, I remember looking up at all the lights one night. Everyone just moved around and did their own thing. I told myself right then and there that that’s what I wanted. It’s one of my favorites because it’s been a huge motivator for me throughout the years. At first it was about money, but it became so much more as time went on. The autonomy of those people moving around, just living their lives, it’s like they were in complete control. And that’s all anyone really wants, control over their own life.
- Website: https://kindlepitch.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kindlepitch/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KindlePitch
Connect with Me:
CHASM is a purpose-driven creative digital marketing agency & brand strategy consultancy. It also offers free services to select nonprofits: https://chasmcreative.com/non-profit-submission/