DAY 15: Why I’m trading SnapChat accounts with Carlos Gil || #StrubSnapSwaps

From Feb. 27 to April 16, Chris Strub will trade his Snapchat account with 50 different Snapchatters from around the globe. Add ChrisStrub on SnapChat to meet them all. During the 50 days, a portion of the proceeds from sales of Chris’s book will go to the nonprofits Chris visited during the #TeamStrub 50-state, 100-day journey. See the full list of NPOs that Chris visited here. On March 12, the nonprofit beneficiary will be A Place Called Home in south central Los Angeles.

Major key alert: add Chris Strub to meet Carlos Gil.

They don’t want you to do a Snapchat takeover.

We’re doing a Snapchat takeover.

Not with DJ Khaled, though — although Carlos, if Khaled calls, hope it’s cool if I bump you for him.

But with one of the realest Snapchatters on the planet — THE Carlos Gil.

I’m on an unconventional path to success. My experience over the past two years — quitting two jobs, giving up two great apartments, taking two epic solo road trips in the name of developing a unique story — is different by design.

It’s very different than the path that Carlos has taken. When you meet Carlos on my Snapchat story on March 12, he’ll surely speak of the hustle required to reach the successes he’s found, but behind that popular catchphrase is years and years of hard work, particularly after he lost his job during the recession.

Carlos and I are very different people. I live life young and wild and free, embracing the “long-hair-don’t-care” philosophy of life on the open road. Conversely, Carlos has probably gotten three haircuts since I started writing this 10 minutes ago.

But what has made Carlos and I — two very different cats — lifelong friends is an unquestioned respect for the hard work we’ve each invested in accomplishing our goals.

In life, I’ve found that associating with good people has had a resoundingly positive ripple effect. And I cannot think of a digital friendship that has led to more legitimate relationships than when I decided to follow and listen to Carlos Gil.

I haven’t been on CG’s radar for that long, but I remember following him years ago, way, way before livestreaming and Snapchat. Those new mediums have dramatically changed the way I define value in a relationship — Carlos Gil has been one who has provided that value continuously for years.

I have no digital evidence to back this up but I am fairly certain it was Carlos who introduced me to Brian Fanzo @iSocialFanz, who, as I’ve spoken about many times before, has been one of the best friends I’ve ever made, online or otherwise.

I do, however, have a definitive memory of Carlos sending a Snapchat about his good friend K.P. Kelly, who last fall made the courageous attempt to run clear across the state of Ohio — for the second time.

Talk about taking action. As an adventurous cross-country traveler and distance runner (although I measure my mileage by counting fingers, not counties), I immediately gravitated to K.P., to the point that I strongly considered either driving or flying to Ohio (from South Carolina) to go support his quest.

In the weeks and months after K.P.’s journey, I’ve developed a very strong relationship with him, to the point that I now consider us very close friends. All because of one Snap that Carlos sent.

But take it another step further. K.P. — a strikingly handsome, sharply opinionated midwesterner — works for ARCH Digital with a gal named Ahna Hendrix, about whom I’m written at length several times now (and will do again soon — #StrubSnapSwaps foreshadowing).

Of the ten billion people in the world, the hundreds of thousands I’ve met, the thousands I ascribe to “follow” and the hundreds I truly dedicate attention to, there is no one whose philosophical wavelength I gravitate to more strongly than Ahna Hendrix.

Since Jan. 1 — New Year’s Day, cliche, indeed — my life has been more or less turned around because I quite literally bought into Ahna Hendrix’s #HonorThyBody messaging on Snapchat. That day, I drove to Best Buy and invested in a Nutribullet, and more than two months later, I have stuck to starting each day with a healthy smoothie. I eat more fruit in a day now than I used to eat in a month, and my life is literally markedly better because of it.

(OK, Chris, enough about Ahna! This is the Carlos article!)

The point is, my life is better because of the people I’ve met through Carlos. My life is literally better because I made the choice to invest time in not just listening to, but interacting with and building a relationship with Carlos Gil.

The list goes on. Heading back north from Christmas with my family, I decided to eschew my XM subscription for a (free) subscription to Hustle Culture, which Carlos hosts with the venerable Tayo Rockson.

I “met” owenhemsath, one of the most inspirational people you’ll ever come across. I Snap with Owen quite frequently now.

I “met” Roberto Blake, whose interview with Carlos and Saba Sedighi is the best hour of podcast you will ever consume. (Seriously, go out of your way.) Stay tuned: although we don’t have anything planned yet, I absolutely intend to take Roberto up on his offer to collab in 2016.

I “met” Nick Cicero, Carlos’ mentor and friend, and now Nick’s incredible company, Delmondo, is keeping this project on its radar.

And, perhaps most unbelievably of all, I’m mentioned in the same sentence as these guys: Carlos and Tayo invited me to actually appear on Hustle Culture. I’ve never been so honored to appear on a podcast and I hope I brought immense value to their audience.

All of this — all of this! — is because I made the decision to click ‘follow’ on Carlos Gil’s Twitter account several years ago. All of these successes, all of these relationships, from which additional depth may come sooner or later (this is a long, long, long game!), are because of my friendship with Carlos.

And what makes that appearance on Hustle Culture even more special is that my hustle is in progress. I don’t know where I stand in the long game of success, in part because the atmosphere seems to change every day, and in part because it’s impossible to draw a timeline for your own success.

March 12 is not an end goal, nor is it the beginning. When I have the honor and the privilege to meet Carlos’s Snapchat friends, it marks the continuation of a longterm friendship that I know will last for the rest of our lives.

As you will see on March 12, Carlos and I are very different. But in the most important way, we are exactly the same: we share a deep-rooted understanding of the value of a genuine friendship, the value of listening, the value of keeping our eyes open and the value in recognizing the good in someone’s heart.

March 12 will be a special opportunity for all my friends, too, to get to know Carlos — it’s never too late to begin a long-lasting friendship, and with my man Carlos is a tremendous place to start.

Carlos, get ready to bring it, brother — I know I am.

And that, Snapchat fam … is real talk.

Get ready to meet THE Carlos Gil, the man whose influence in my life has gone even deeper than our friendship itself.