Bradley Bowen: American Success Story
Today I have exciting Success Story to share. Bradley Bowen is an actor and producer, as well as, an entrepreneur, surf pro, and Jiu-Jitsu medalist. I am thrilled Bradley has stopped by the blog to share his success tips.
My questions are in bold, Bradley's follow in plain text
About Bradley Bowen
Bradley Bowen (IMDb) is the very definition of the American success story. Leaving high-school behind him at the age of 16; the entrepreneur in Bradley quickly emerged. While pursuing a new-found passion for surfing, Bradley survived those early years by working as a “groomie” poolside in Daytona Beach, Florida. Today, 33 years later, Bradley has built an extraordinary life as a world-wide Pro-Am Competitive Surfer, Chun Kuk Do Karate world champion, Jiu-Jitsu medalist, entrepreneur, film producer, and actor.
At the age of 24, he shifted his focus from surfing to a more substantial living. After his daughter Jayden was born in 2001, he started to feel the need to be more responsible financially. He started his own construction company after having mastered the skills for exterior finishes by working on various labor jobs. He had never flinched in front of hard work and even today he still likes working outdoors. He then was able to enjoy his financial freedom and began traveling on the Pro-Am surfing circuits.
Bradley was inspired to study karate after an altercation at a job site. Being a man of determination, Bradley started training in Chun Kuk Do Karate founded by Chuck Norris. Three years later, he won his fighting dat the 2005 United Fighting Arts Federation (UFAF) world championship in Las Vegas, where he received his black belt. His introduction to Jiu-Jitsu started shortly thereafter, earning multiple medals and currently holding a purple belt.
Being a consummate entrepreneur, Bradley is producing a film based on the novel “Caledonian Skies” and is working with a renowned writer and director to head the project. This has earned Bradley his third producer credit and the opportunity of a lifetime to work with a well-respected and notable legend. He is now working on his new project “The Flight”, as executive producer slated to film in 2019.
What is one thing you have learned from being successful?
Being talented and this handsome 😉 opened many doors for me and I repented my sins and have been given many chances that others might not have been so lucky to enjoy. Lots of my peers would like to dope themselves into believing they got there because of their hard work, talent or skills, honestly, no one made it there without being tremendously lucky!
One of the things I’ve learned is, I should always remember my roots, and stay focused on being human rather than a star. I still perform construction work sometimes, you know I work literally on a roof sometimes, which gives me a better “view”!
Is there a mistake you have made starting out that you wish you could change?
Well if I could do it all over again, I probably wouldn’t have left home so young! I learned many things in life the hard way while it could have been, let’s say, more conventional!
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Be prepared more for the hard stuff rather than for the comfort and glamour. Believe me, we can all be adapted to comfort, luxury and respect, that’s not a problem, but learning how to stick in there facing the rough and tough sides of your career isn’t obvious.
Professionally what are you most proud of?
I’m, you know, very photogenic, you can dress me in rags, dump me in a third world street or cast me under the worst light or angle, I still look glamorous! Ha, just kidding! Well, not really!
I think there are aspects in being an actor, or any artist in general, that are innate, as an individual, you need to know yourself, and build your career in acknowledging your talents!
I’m very proud of being talented and having the character traits that made me pursue what I do. I’m a star no matter where I am, I’ll always be shining bright because of the love and belief I have in life. We are who we believe we are!
Is there something you learned from the industry that you found surprising?
We are genuine people; we help and love each other. We do not do more drugs than the Wall Street bankers or drink more alcohol than the medical doctors ;)!
If you could recommend a book to help people be more successful what would it be, and why.
The Bible. It is our owner’s manual to the human race. If only we would read and apply its principles, many struggles and headaches could be avoided. Also, the Bible helps us become a better person, capable of love, compassion, and empathy. Not only that, but we can also learn how to enjoy life now in these critical times that can be hard to deal with.
I also enjoy authors such as Dale Carnegie. One of my favorites in that category is Dale Carnegie’s How to Make Friends and Influence People, you know, making friends, and creating the right contacts are crucial in this industry, it’s like the cliché “ it’s not what we know, it’s who we know”!
Any upcoming projects you are working on?
Yes, I’m working on a feature film right now called “The Flight”, it’s based on events leading up to WWII, a big story! Stay tuned you’ll love it!
Has Social Media Factored into your success?
Yes of course! We all live on social media now. I think we are more like citizens on Facebook now! I think Facebook should give us a passport and voting rights!
Well, I like the interactions on social media and you can keep in contact with a much larger pool of friends and acquaintances than in the past, you know, I remember the time when we communicated with telegraphs and used pigeons to send love letters!
What does your social media strategy look like, any tips?
Well, the most important thing is feeling concerned and be engaged! You know we are all human beings. We have feelings; don’t say things that you know if someone else says to you, you’d feel hurt. If someone tells you he’s gonna have an operation, his cat just died, or his house was ransacked, don’t say, hey, dude, you are just whining, we all have problems in life, that’s not what he wants to hear.
You wouldn’t want to be lectured upon when all those bad things happened to you. So be helpful, say something uplifting or give a hand! They may really need it! And don’t get into political debates unless you know a subject well.
The problem is, we are in an information age, everything is changing and moving so fast. Unless you are a specialist in a domain, when you’d get on there to debate someone, mostly you are just gonna fight for nothing! No one is right or wrong, most people just get emotional over stuff they don’t really have a solution for themselves.
Mostly they don’t want to see the opposition’s perspective, they see what’s in their immediate interests. So, avoid that, believe me, not all fights are worthwhile! I’m a fighter but I don’t fight meaningless battles!
Any mistakes you see people routinely make with social media?
They think behind the screen, they can say whatever, be rude, mean, attack people, be backstabbing, etc.
It’s not just social media, in a way it’s who they really are! Social media is more intertwined with real life nowadays, it’s not like a mask you can choose to wear. In a way, your behavior on social media is the truer you!
Where can people connect with you online?
You can find me on most of the major platforms; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I look forward to connecting with people all over the world. Culture and history are my favorite subjects and makes learning fun while meeting interesting people.
Do have any apps, books or tips that you use to be more productive?
As I told you I read the timeless Carnegie book. I try to be friendly and kind to everyone. I like using pencil and paper to track my goals and schedule my day.
How do you manage time?
Aha! That’s a good question …. You know some people say that God made people and Samuel Colt made them equal, I would say mothers made people and time is what we have in equal! Life is time, you can choose to spend it loving someone, achieve goals, make your marks, travel to places, or you can use it to hate, to destroy, or do nothing, but it’s only that long, use it wisely!
What is the best advice you have received?
“A friend in need is a friend indeed”! You need to recognize in life who’s a friend and who’s not. We have the tendency to avoid people in trouble and embrace the glamorous and powerful people.
My advice, be the wind under the wings of someone, propel him to soar, be the last man standing for someone. At the end of the day, we long for a true friend that’s what makes the lonely road of life less lonely, and worth the pain.
Do you have any advice for people that may feel discouraged about reaching their goals?
Well, it’s not easy for anyone and it is a lonely road. That’s why love is so precious, it’s the only reality in life! If you remember that, and that life is composed of ups and downs, bittersweet is a nice sauce. When you set a goal, all the difficulties only seem to be sauces to your main dish. And try to look at things in various angles, oftentimes difficulties and pain make us grow, they keep us from being shallow and vain.
Has fitness factored into your success?
Well, you know the body is the shrine of the soul you have to keep it clean. I appreciate the line “mens sana in corpore sano”, fitness and sport also help us channel the negative feelings that we all have sometimes.
Do you enjoy working out? If not how do you get motivated?
Once you get to it, you just keep going you know. I’m a champion in martial arts. I just love it. I was also a professional surfer when I was younger.
Sports and outdoors are in my blood. I don’t really need much motivation, it’s who I am.
What is the one thing you wish everyone knew?
Life is truly a miracle; just live it and love it, no matter what, and remember as long as we are still alive the last word hasn’t been said! Don’t ever let anyone or anything beat you down for real! Keep the fire burning; life has its seasons.
Anything I should ask that I have not?
No, I look forward to chatting again. I just want to say thank you for using your time for this interview.
Thank you for interviewing with us!
Michael launched Your Money Geek to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.