Today it’s my honor to share with you a guest post from my good friend Noah Elias, known as “Noah“. You have may have seen his work on MTV’s Rob and Big, 2 Fast 2 Furious, CBS, tattoos on Pink, Famous Stars and Straps, Hart and Huntington, or many know him through his worth and partnership with the Walt Disney Company. You can see his fingerprints all over the new Disney’s California Adventure Park. Noah and I have a pretty big announcement you will want to stay tuned for in the weeks ahead. Can’t wait to share with you what we have been scheming up!
Recently I’ve just come off of a season of events and signings releasing product. It feels like life has become one big event; just a bunch that are streamed together.
I remember the days going door-to-door washing cars as a kid to make money. Paper routes, car washes and later art. That’s right, art. Door-to-door. It was a good exercise. My mom basically said that if I wanted to go out with friends on the weekends and go to youth group activities with the church then raise some money. I remember crying at times, pissed off having to go door-to-door and selling myself, but it taught me a few things: to get over myself, to find what matters to others, and to risk embarrassment.
I didn’t know those years would be pruning years. Most kids partied through junior high, high school and their twenties. I was working. I realized at a young age, life wasn’t going to be handed to me. No trust fund, silver spoons and no money for college.
Jump ahead to 2005. I stood at the threshold of my relationship with Disney. I had spent the previous 12 years painting anything and everything that could be custom painted. It was survival by throwing as much at the wall every day to see what could stick. 2005 stood as a changing point. Although I had painted what I loved for all these years, it graduated to a dream. More than what I could have imagined.
God has a way of providing His kids exactly what they need exactly when they need it. He provided all the early years to nurture and train me to be prepared for what was ahead. When Disney and I started working together, it refined my calling. You see, years I spent trying to be “successful” I reached burnout and it came up empty. Climbing every project and ending up with the same results: glad it happened, but there wasn’t a measurable fruit or takeaway. The client was happy, but it seemed there was something missing.
I embarked on a rigorous journey of unpacking my soul with God. It opened me up to see my life according to Him, not as I saw it. I then studied a great deal of leadership materials and met with me mentors. I was detoxing from self and success. Life became what Stephen Covey calls, “Beginning with the end in mind”. Imagine you on your death-bed. Work backwards from there.
Life has become a dream. The sweet spot is when your dream collides with your calling. For me it’s about loving God, my wife, and my kids first then using the gift of creativity and leadership as a platform to love on others as much as possible and to let them know they are important and matter. Life is a dream and most of the time, surreal. There are a lot of days it takes a great deal of work and it’s beyond big, but as my mentor Bob Shank said to me “You don’t get tired so much when you’re doing the right thing”.
All of Noah’s art is 25% off on his store through Midnight on Cyber Monday!