We met Stefano Di Lollo last year at Vanessa Elle’s amazing class, “Build Your Brand From the Inside Out”. The minute he opened his mouth, we had no shame in asking him if he would be open to teach a class at Grind Atelier. That time has come! Our dreams have become a reality! May is the month of creativity! To celebrate, we sat down with Stefano for a min to get know him … and if he is team-pizza or team-taco…
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in an older (but lovely) residential neighborhood called “The Bronx of LaSalle”, on the south side of the “Aqueduc” canal in Montreal. Other than there being a well-known LaSalle Avenue in the Bronx of New York, I’m not quite sure that there’s a connection with the name.
How did you cope with being an only child?
My childhood without any siblings meant that I had to find clever ways to entertain myself. Perhaps it’s why I turned to my own imagination as the solution. My parents built a cottage in the Laurentian Mountains, and I spent most weekends and summers up north. Without many children around, I decided to create weapons and intricate trapping systems to protect myself from and capture the extraterrestrial creatures in the woods. I single-handedly prevented the invasion of Earth numerous times. My technology has since been patented… I think.
What value is most important to you?
I value creativity more than anything (aside from family/friends, of course). First off, I value creativity because without it… I’m not quite sure I know who I am. I believe that authentic creativity can solve any problem and allows people to reach their full potential. In turn, it brings happiness to people as it’s a fundamental need at the top of Maslow’s hierarchy/pyramid of needs.
What made you take the leap in becoming an entrepreneur?
I decided to become an entrepreneur when I decided that I’d rather strive towards my own purpose while focusing on my core values (rather than goals set by others). In all honesty, I chose to use my energy to find a tribe that I would serve wholeheartedly rather than fighting corporate bureaucracy. That said, I still believe in authentic collaboration and cross-pollinating ideas with organizations that have clear and meaningful missions.
What made you decide to name yourself a creative catalyst?
I’ve always struggled with labels. Perhaps it’s because of my multifaceted creative career, or perhaps it’s because I simply can’t commit to being just one thing. The day that I decided to focus on using my creativity to unleash the creativity in others, I came up with “creative catalyst” as a reminder of who I want to be and what I’m trying to do. I want to provide people with the focus, function, and fire to use their creativity to achieve their respective greatness. I don’t intend on showing off my magic, I intend on showing people theirs. I’m am simply a spark to get it all started.
What is Creative ¨U¨? Why was it important for you to create such movement?
Based on my commitment to creativity, I decided to use my years of experience in numerous creative disciplines to develop a method to help not only those who consider themselves creative in a traditional sense but those who are unaware of the great creative abilities that they already possess. So often we’ve suppressed our own creativity for numerous reasons, the current education system being one of them. The movement is important because I truly believe that I can help people both in work and life. I now know that this is my calling.
Generating Content Ideas
What is the common challenge you notice most entrepreneurs face when creating content?
I’ve outlined numerous typical reactions to challenges experienced by entrepreneurs with regards to creative content. All of these reactions are normal, but overcoming them is important. Often, people feel overwhelmed by the creative process because it’s an ambiguous one. So the instinct is to dismiss or delegate the creative work to someone else. In a related scenario, often entrepreneurs concern themselves with a lack of resources as the main problem preventing creation. Usually what happens next is “paralysis by analysis” and nothing happens. Unfortunately, if you’re not taking advantage of social media content, you’re business is losing out.
How are you able to stay consistent publishing content on your social media platforms?
I used strategies that make great use of time… Creating content for me isn’t a reaction, it’s a routine. In other words, it’s something I’m always working on in a leisurely way which makes it very easy to have an archive of creative ammo ready to go when it’s required. Many assume that I’m constantly producing daily in order to publish content daily… the truth is that I’m running the day-to-day details of my own business just like other busy entrepreneurs.
We are eager to learn from you, we couldn’t help to ask… What is your favorite content idea generator hack all creative entrepreneurs must know?
So perhaps this isn’t my favorite hack… but it’s definitely a simple one that helps. Everyday I take photos of things in my environment that capture my attention. Sometimes I even turn it into a game. I’ve created a private Instagram account to archive my images. I review my captures on a weekly basis to see what I could use to create future content (even with impromptu images that didn’t have a specific plan initially). The outcome is ALWAYS more creative because the pressure is off. It’s become part of my routine and it’s fun! I’ll be showing my other strategies at my Grind Atelier workshop on May 29th.
Fun Facts – Are you?
Salty, Sweet tooth or both?
I definitely like both. I have no issues munching on beer nuts and a cookie. Ha ha!
Here’s something strange that I’ve observed about my taste buds, I used to love cake as a child but now I’m a pie guy.
Instagram or Facebook?
Definitely Instagram! I choose Instagram mainly because of its visual storytelling nature… but I strategically repurpose my Insta-content to all other social media platforms. I’m literally on every platform. Go ahead… look for me.
Pizza or Taco?
Wow… this decision is a difficult one. I just pictured eating a slice of pizza with a taco on it. If I had to choose, I’d select the pizza… but with a thin crust, Napoli-style (Naples).
Instagram ?? HERE
Linkedin ?? THERE
Website ?? ICI