How to improve yourself (Fam Mirza’s 6 keys for major change)

How to improve yourself - Fam Mirza

Do you find yourself watching the clock everyday at work? Do you feel fed up with your 9-5? Are you not feeling passionate about what you do 40 hours a week?

You’re not alone. 52% of the workforce is reportedly unhappy with their job. I’d be willing to bet that a significant portion of those 52% are millennials – folks in their 20s and 30s who entered the workforce as bright-eyed and enthusiastic college grads only to find that the passion they thought they’d quickly develop simply hasn’t surfaced.

Lucky for you, if you’re a 20 or 30 something and unhappy at work… there are many ways to improve yourself.

I recently sat down with Fam Mirza, CEO of 1Face watches, event consultant and marketing strategist for the likes of Sean “Diddy” Combs, Drake, 50 Cent and others, and all around serial entrepreneur, adviser and mentor.

While Fam became a millionaire by the time he was in his early 20s, it is his continued mentality towards purpose and drive for passion and success that impresses me most and drove me to connect with him. He epitomizes the millennial mentality of diversifying one’s skillset and refusing to be typecast or placed into something other than one’s own manufactured destiny.

How to improve yourself - Fam Mirza entrepreneur

If you don’t know Fam, know this… his approach to success is varied.

Fam is the guy who took the viral sensation Antoine Dodson and turned an idea into 7 figure sales of Halloween costume in under 30 days.

Fam once lost $127,000 in one day in 2007 as the result of a bad investment.

He put split jerseys on Nelly, toured with the likes of Drake and has created custom clothing for some of today’s top artists.

He told me a story about how Yung Joc once called him for his video It’s Going Down to get him to create a custom shirt for him.

In Chicago alone, his name is the go-to for anything apparel or footwear related. But more than that, his name has come up time and time again for me when chatting with others about journeys to self-improvement and what it means to progress.

Even when we were chatting for this interview on a rooftop in downtown Chicago, a young musician approached us and asked humbly for 2 minutes of Fam’s time, asking Fam to check out his track. Fam took 5 minutes to listen and gave him his contact info to help him at Def Jam where he has high level contacts.

Point being, Fam is someone who has been hustling since he was young, respects the grind and epitomizes the millennial mindset of furthering one’s self through effort, networking and gusto.

As a fellow millennial who wants nothing more than the most experiences and appreciation of life possible, it is important to always be improving and progress yourself. Start by asking yourself this question:

What would you like to improve about yourself?

Is it related to frustration with your job? A lack of passion or purpose in your life? A desire to see and experience more of life?

Having made millions before 30, I asked Fam what continues to motivate him most and he said it’s inspiring the next person to change their life.

If you’re in your 20s or 30s and feel like you’re just existing and living within someone else’s framework of success, now is the time to take action.

I chatted with Fam for over an hour to understand his story and how you might find inspiration in it to apply to your own life.

These are 6 ways to learn how to improve yourself everyday and take charge of the decisions you make.

How to improve yourself - Fam Mirza Chicago

1. If you want to change, you have to take responsibility.

If you’ve ever traveled through Europe, you’ve likely seen a ton of young adults traveling around… Prague, Paris, Amsterdam, etc. In Europe, when you come out of high school, most graduates take a year or two off to travel to figure out what they want to do. Following that year or two, they then decide to go to college.

Fam brought up this trend to me to illustrate the point that in anything in life, you need to have a certain sense of surety before you jump in.

Would you make an investment without knowing what you’re investing in? Unlikely.

If you’ve already made a career or life decision but were undecided when you did so (i.e. chose a major just to choose it, got into a field just to get a job, etc.), it’s not too late. I asked Fam this.

If you’ve already gone to college and are just floating within your 9-5, how can you re-engage yourself?

You graduated, got into accounting that is meh and you get off at 4:59 and go home and eat TV dinner and just live life. That’s terrible!

TGIF? I hate that acronym! TGIT, man. If you don’t love today, you’re screwed!

It’s hard to change habits after you’ve been doing them for years. However, even if you’re already 30, 35, you CAN still do it. It’s going to take time and effort as far as when you’ll do it.

Come home at 6, 7pm. Spend another 5-6 hours to learn a different field! Are you willing to commit that time to get out of it? To change? Most people would say no. But you might as well do it when you’re 35 instead of looking back when you’re 70 or 80 and regret it. Don’t regret.

One of the most powerful things to realize is that in life and business, you don’t regret what you’ve done. You regret what you haven’t done.

As you get older, you gain responsibility and get bogged down and your lifestyle becomes habitual. It becomes hard to change habits, so you have to do it now.

If you’ve already gone through college, graduated and you’re in a dead end job, it’s because you didn’t think about what you were passionate about before you went to college and majored in something and graduated.

In your 20s or 30s and want to change your life?

You need to figure out what you want to do NOW.

This is the time you should spend to acquire knowledge to figure out what it is you want. If you want to change, that is the time to do it. DO IT NOW!

2. You need passion.

In order to change and fully embrace it, you need to lead with your passion. If there’s a calling card of our generation it’s that you need to find your passion.

If it was that easy, we’d all be agree that we chose our jobs, career, profession, etc. because it aligned so closely with our passion. Easier said than done. How the heck do you know if you’ve found your passion or your purpose? With so many possibilities and opportunities, how do you know if only one is right for you. It’s tough. (more on that in a minute)

Nonetheless, it is essential that you work from a place of passion.

Anything that you want to do in life, you have to have an extreme amount of passion towards it. If you do it just for the money… you’ll never succeed.

Find what will drive you without you getting paid for it. Find that and expand on it.

Many new-age entrepreneurs get their start by deriving their passion from creative fields…photography, videography, artistic fields.

The reason these fields produce such passion-driven people, I think is because they require knowledge and hands-on experience.

To find your passion, you have to first gain knowledge.

To gain knowledge that will illuminate where your passion might lie, you have to do it yourself.

If you’re saying to yourself… ‘”Oh man! I wanna do videos for Drake or photos for Migos,” you have to start low and work up. Start with a lower level artist for example. It’s the same thing. You’ll still be shooting… just on a smaller scale.

As you work on your skill-set and work your way up, you’ll start to learn if you it’s for you. Nothing can illuminate this for you other than doing it yourself and experiencing it.

You’re not going to find your passion by reading about it or by researching different things. You need to try it yourself.

How to improve yourself - Fam Mirza w/ artists

3. Know who to listen to.

So you’ve decided you want to make a change. You’ve decided you want to dive in on a passion or discover a passion you didn’t know you had?

Where do you start? Who do you look to for advice?

We live in the age of the guru where anyone can call themselves a millionaire, post pictures of yachts and Ferraris online and sell “coaching” materials to young, impressionable millennials.

How the heck do you decide who to turn to for advice?

The fact of the matter is… no one should be teaching anything if they don’t have the accolades.

Don’t teach people how to do things if you haven’t done it yourself! It’s that simple.

Don’t be a guru! How are you going to teach someone to make $1MM if you haven’t made $1MM?!

Everybody now on IG is somehow a millionaire and knows this and that. BUT they haven’t and they don’t! That’s bullsh*t.

If you haven’t driven down that road, don’t tell me to drive down that road.

Take it from Fam… look to those who have been there and done it. Follow their lead to learn.

Millennials should look to whoever it is they want to be. If you want to be a shoe designer, music producer, artist… figure out the top 3 people in that field and engage them.

Fam recommends being bold in this approach. He recommends that you reach out to top folks in your field and offer to work for them for free.

As we were conducting this interview, a young musician with headphones on approached Fam and asked him if he could show him his music. Fam agreed, listened for 5 minutes and ultimately offered his contact info to further the conversation.

You never know who you might meet! Just by Fam listening to his music, he had the ability to send that to someone else – the VP at Def Jam, for example. He is connected in those circles and that is how one can advance themselves.

When you want something, you need to go for it. When you’re making music tracks, for example, you just have to go for it and network. Networking gets you further in life than any other skill-set you can learn. It is the basis for everything. Only the right people can get you to the right places.

The time is now.

4. Have more than just ideas.

When Fam is creating a new venture or advising, he always reaches out to the big dogs in that field.

I talk to all these guys before I enter a market.

That’s what’s silly about young entrepreneurs. If you decide that you’re going to make the next greatest pen…you have to talk to the top guys at Parker, etc. The higher ups who will give you insight into the industry, what they think of your design. I take opinions into account and move from there. I don’t just enter a market.

When approaching someone for advice or mentorship, you need to approach with with more than just an idea.

If you ask for 5 minutes of someone’s time and come to him/her with a vague idea… you’ve just wasted both of yours time.

Come to them with an idea that has been thought through, an idea that has been mapped out and is missing a piece or missing a next step. Come with that specific question.

How to improve yourself - Fam Mirza w/ artists/ NYC

5. Take action! How?

So you’ve made a decision to change, you’re networking and learning from those who have made changes and had success in their fields.

You need to capitalize on the time you have.

Everyone has time, but ideas fade with time.

When we came out with 1:Face watch, had we done that today it wouldn’t have excelled. We came out with that design before Apple did (which is very similar). We came out 2 years earlier. We moved fast and acted on an idea.

It’s about capitalizing on the right time and scaling.

Everyone has ideas. Everyone can build a business, but can you scale?

Have a plan, be ready to rock.

6. How appreciate the journey.

One of the first things Fam said was that there’s beauty in the struggle.

One of the things millennials struggle with as we grow and progress is we lose sight of our journey. We become so fixated on the finish line that we fail to appreciate the process. We fail to appreciate the small wins. If you’re not careful, you can blink your eyes and next thing you know, you never take the time to appreciate what you’ve been building and improving on.

It’s all about the journey. You journey will help you find the destination. 

I have so much more fun and so much more excitement when I’m creating a project rather than when we launch, have success and scale it. I am so much more present in the creation of it rather than the success part of it.

It’s the fruition of ideas that is rewarding.

A lot of entrepreneurs get so lost in wanting the success and the Ferraris that they lose sight of why they started in the first place – to change for the better.

Written by Case Kenny

Case is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of and the host of the New Mindset, Who Dis podcast. Reach him at or @case.kenny on Instagram.

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