Zach Benson is one of the standouts in the world of influencer marketing. A TEDx speaker, social-media trainer for international brands like The Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, and ViceRoy, and past participant on “So You Think You Can Dance,” Benson doesn’t just manage his own Instagram network of millions; he’s also the founder of Assistagram, where he’s guiding other influencers and Fortune 500 companies into social-media success.
Lastly, he is the founder of 6 Figure Dancer Academy, where he teaches other dancers the exact step-by-step system that he used to create a profitable 6-figure dancing business, traveling the world.
What you probably don’t know is that Benson’s childhood resembled something far closer to outright failure than the kind of wins he has experienced today.
At only 4 months old, Benson, who was born in South Korea, was adopted by his parents in the States, where he was taken home to Des Moines, Iowa. Benson was one of the very few Asian kids in his school.
Benson was bullied and abused by his peers in school due to his ethnicity. On top of looking different, he sounded different too. Benson was diagnosed with a speech impediment and was placed in speech therapy classes. And to top it off, Benson was diagnosed with ADHD and consistently found himself getting in trouble at school.
With this type of background, many people would assume that these were the characteristics of somebody who was headed down a dark road. Many of us have never had to face daily battles against racism, learning impairments, or even the inability to talk properly, but a combination of all three seems unthinkable.
Like anything, though, change is a series of small steps, starting with one foot in front of the other. Benson told me how he implemented this in his own life.
For a man who was bullied, judged, and ostracised, it would seem human to simply give up,but Benson did not. Instead, he focused on moving the meter forward every day.
With this type of mentality, it makes it easier to silence that voice in your head that whispers all of your shortcomings to you. By being persistent and showing up every day to work towards your goals, you can overcome some incredible obstacles like Benson has. There is no barrier to your success.
Ask Yourself These Questions
“Should I do it?
Can I do it?
Do I want to do it?
For Benson, success is in the execution of the ideas and not in the ideation. “There are many of us who wait for the right moment when in reality that moment does not exist,” Benson said.
We feel that if we wait long enough, everything is just going to be perfect. Well, waiting means sitting and hoping. Accomplishing means getting up and chasing what is yours. Be curious in life and be open to venture off the perfect path and discover what is not visible to most.
By supplying yourself with answers to these three questions and immediately acting upon opportunities, you set yourself apart from almost all of your competitors and peers who spend their time wishing for the right moment.
These questions allow Benson to keep his internal compass focused so that even if he ventures off in a new direction, it aligns with who he is. Benson has shown us that whatever impairment you have in front of you can always be overturned with consistent progress and the ability to take action.
“The past is the past, the only thing you can do is learn from your mistakes. In my experience, it’s the ones that make the most mistakes and actually learn from them that grow the fastest,” said Benson.
Make mistakes, learn, and suck it up.
Yes, life is hard. You must confront the brutal facts of reality that life is hard but things will get better in the future if you keep working and developing yourself and comparing yourself to your best self, you will become the person you want to be in future,” says Benson.
This is the type of advice we all need to hear at some point in time.
To follow more of Zach’s incredible journey and what he stands for you can visit his personal site, Assistagram, and connect with him on Facebook
Check out episode 433 of “Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do” and hear more from Zach Benson.