Wayne Lapasa

Sharing my Digital Marketing thoughts one post at a time.

Category: Blog

Never Judge A Book By It’s Cover…R.I.P. Rich Piana

Rich Piana

Rich Piana, Toronto Pro SuperShow 2017

A few days ago, controversial body builder and social media star Rich Piana, known as @1dayumay had passed away. The story about this pic I took with him is that even though it was taken just three months ago, I had no idea who he was to be honest. I dragged my friend Mike to come downtown with me to the @toprosupershow, a well known fitness industry weekend event in Toronto. I actually wanted to meet a fitness model which I did and also to just walk around the expo and check out the surroundings.

“Whatever It Takes”

One of them which had the most amount of interest was Rich Piana’s booth. Now if you see this guy from the outside, he’s extremely large looking and he’s tatted up to the gulls. He had quite the presence. I was like “Mike, who is this guy?.” He was like “You paid for my entrance and dragged me out to this and you have no idea who this guy is? Even I know who he is!” Lol. You should have seen the line up for this guy, well over a thousand plus people that weekend wanted to meet him, take pictures with him, sign merchandise and pick his brains about the fitness industry. So for just about an hour or so, I too lined up and had a brief chat with him.

You only get once chance to make a first impression.

I recall about meeting him that day, was that he had a personality behind that big frame of his. And the reason the line ups were so long for him was because he actually took the time to meet and talk to each person who wanted to see him. That is a sign of someone who know’s their self worth and what an influence they are to the public. When I got home, I Google’d more about who he was and what was the hype about him. The real appeal that I witnessed about Rich was his transparency and sincerity when interacting with the people. Yes, he previously admitted to steroid use and yes there was probably an  addiction or desire to achieve a certain size in his physique. But what’s amazing about him is that while he did not hold back about his transgressions, it was his open honesty with his audience that was his true major appeal. He eventually became one of the profitable bodybuilding stars in the industry while growing his brand through social media.

Although I just met him briefly, I witnessed what a larger than life personality he was. He meant a lot to aspiring people in the fitness industry. It’s very easy to judge a book by its cover, but in this guy’s case, I couldn’t do that to this man. You only get once chance to make a first impression and he did that with me. Rest In Peace Rich. My thoughts and prayers go out to your family, your GF @c_no5 and the @5percentnutrition team.

Social Media King

Rich Piana’s consistent promotion of his businesses on social media helped grow his name and brand in just a few short years.  You can relive some of his work through his popular YouTube channel.  Check out some interesting Sysomos stats during the week of his death on August 25, 2017.

Rich Piana Death Instagram Stats

Rich Piana Death Instagram stats, well over 3,000+ mentions on IG

Rich Piana Death Twitter Stats

Rich Piana Death Twitter Stats

Rich PianRich Piana Death Twitter Statsa Death Twitter Stats

Rich Piana Death Twitter stats, with over 4,000+ mentions on Twitter

Sentiment on Rich Piana's Death

Sentiment on Rich Piana’s Death was met with mixed reaction

Most ReTweeted on Rich Piana's Death

Most ReTweeted stats on Rich Piana’s Death

What Was It Like Being Back In School After 12 Years?

Today’s post is going to be a little different than some of the posts you’ve read here.  For those who are visiting this site for the first time…Welcome!  I am going to recap my decision to go back to school, the factors that triggered it, my experiences being back in a classroom and what’s next on my plate.

Why I Went Back

In the spring of 2016, I was in the final stages of securing a new job with an emerging tech company.   At this time, I was back again working in the dairy industry, unchallenged and unmotivated.  I returned there after being laid off from a digital marketing company.  While I was very keen in getting back into the digital world, my gut instinct was telling me to hold off.  The title role was a client success specialist and I just felt like I wanted something more specific.  If you have ever been in a position where you took a job just for the money and you knew you’d still be unhappy – well that was where my head space was at.

For those who know me, I am willing to put the work in and bust my tail off when I believe in whatever the concept/idea/value is.   So in between interviews, I started Googling the idea of upgrading my education, to strengthen my resume as well.  My position was if I was going to make a commitment and go back to school, it had to be something that would fit my schedule, that had an interesting curriculum and that I would genuinely enjoy.

After a series of e-mails exchanged with one of the program coordinators at Seneca College, I decided now was the time to make the leap.  On April 22, 2016, I contacted the employer who offered me the client success specialist position and declined.  I now made the commitment to enroll in a one year, post grad certificate in social media, the first of its kind offered in the GTA.

College vs. University

The thought of being back in a classroom after a 12-year absence was going to be interesting.  Some of the questions I asked myself was, could I handle this?  Could I keep up with the other students?  Would I be the oldest fart in the room?  It was an intense, eight month course load that covered all aspects of social media and digital marketing.  After the first six weeks into the semester, I settled in pretty nicely and felt confident that I would be able to complete this program.  Looking back on my time in York University, I felt a four-year program was too long.  You would have theatre sizing classes that would fit as large as 500 students, yet you would only know maybe 25-30 of them in your tutorial classes.   What I liked about college was that we were the same 20-25 person class for the entire calendar year.   In university, almost all of the teachings were theoretical, which in my own theory is useless because you need practical knowledge in the real working world.  Thanks to Google, Wikipedia and so on, you can search for that theoretical information at any time and educate yourself.

Having the opportunity to work in group projects and do presentations in college was also very refreshing.  I welcomed that with open arms because university didn’t provide much opportunities in that aspect.  In addition, while assignments were submitted in printed paper at York, for this program they were all submitted online.  I remember back in the day, maybe one or two students in the room had a laptop.  That was considered luxury.  Taking notes on a paper pad was the norm.  Today, everyone in the class is equipped with some sort of technology whether it be a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

#SenecaSoMe aka SMD

#SenecaSoMe aka SMD

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