Starting out Fresh, not Fancy…Pt.1

2017 was easily the worst year if my life.

2018 was a rough underdog year.

2019 was the leaps of faith Batman had to take in “Dark Knight Rises”. Both of them.

And here we are…in “grand ol’ 2020”. The Year of WTF.

In the Qur’an (8:30), part of the verse reads “…But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners“. This is something my father used to say to us ALL THE TIME. An effort to give us a kind of self and spiritual motivation when things didn’t go according to plan. (Note: we’re not the “people who are planning” in the Qur’anic verse just sourced; those folks were planning to kill Muhammad S.A.W. It was just a reference to “we plan, but Allah/God has a better one”, whether you’re moral compass is of good or evil intention. Context is everything 🙂 ).

So I say all that to say 2020 was the “swift kick” year. A non-gendered, swift kick, to wherever it hurts you most and makes you crumble not just in personal pain but in the awareness of the on the horizon major pain yet to come…that disorients.

You get the picture. And a lot of us have shared a similar trajectory over these last 4 years.

And it’s not to say everything was bad in the last 4 years. There were surely some bright and warm moments and times.

And that was some of the things I’ve been having to pull on and draw strength from during these times.

I’m an empath, and an empath who has a critical mind that can both analyze and create. A double edged sword when coupled with unresolved stresses and anxieties, that can more or less be crippling to experience and perplexing to watch as a bystander.

So when lows hit for me, they hit hard. But what’s been helpful this time around is having a small support group and a different way of what I call “therapeutic cataloging”. More on that later.

My work, my ambitions, my happiness moving forward.

I’v really enjoyed creating websites over the years. Especially within the last 5 years with WordPress updates, the adoption of page builders like Elementor, and how easy it is to integrate 3rd party media like streams, apps and plugins.

Because of this, I’m able to setup websites for clients who want to sell products, promote their services, and have creative helpful ways to engage with their audience base.

Phase 1 this year of build my own personal digital brand network

saw the completion of this site SoulManIT.com, and FreshAirFlavor.com for my creative media business and the hub for all these digital projects.

I had debated a long time about using IdasaTariq.com v.s. SoulManIT.com. But for me it’s now clear moving forward how I want to proceed to move and be seen online, while still maintaining the level of openness and transparency my audience has grown to appreciate with me. I will still own IdasaTariq.com, but it will redirect to here from now on.

When it comes to hiring me to do creative design professionally, I chose to separate that side of me and put it into it’s own thing, rather than have it mixed together on here and the website becomes one big melting pot with no central focus or purpose. Been there, done that 😀. The best thing was to finally put all my creative work under one roof, and Fresh Air Flavor Media was that roof. It was the other company my father helped me establish that just chilled on the back burner while I made internet companies like the old GroundFlow.net and BeatJawn.com.

…speaking of BeatJawn.com

I’ve spent the last 16 years selling beats online back when it was just Soundclick and Paypal for me (and dMusic and MP3 in the raaare occasion for me). I’ve watched the online music marketplace change both quickly and slowly, and payed close attention to how it would affect music producers, musicians, and DJ’s. Aka the “non-artist” jobs where promoting a personality wasn’t a cornerstone to your business plan or model.

Well all that’s changed now. And there is an upside to all of this.

Music Producers were “at the mercy” of digital platforms who still hadn’t found a way to properly and securely monetize music downloads, and the real mercy of whether or not the music artist and 3rd parties involved wanted to include you in the promotions and music sales. The royalties game is vicious and insensitive. And to a degree it has to be, for the sake of guarding and compensating a creator’s digital works.

To me it made more sense to invest time and money into having my own website store that could sell my beats without having to sacrifice creative integrity and play the royalty game. I wanted to be an example of the common ground and of digital equity, especially within the creative design and music space online.

BeatJawn.com will rollout as an online beat catalog for both music artists and media creatives in need of project beats. There will be two sets of music to buy; “beats” & “loops”, both with their respective price and licensing. This is one of the ways I intend to give back and help more this year, by creating a sustainable beat store model that can be duplicated and taught to others.

In addition to offering a beat store, BeatJawn.com will also be used as a place for me to curate playlists and share them with people online.

end of Part 1.

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