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Interview: This NASCAR Driver Started His Own Multi Million Dollar Business Success

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A man influenced by business success, Salvatore Iovino races toward his goals, whether it is in business or motorsports. Like a true entrepreneur, Salvatore began his journey at the age of 18, climbing cellular towers across the country. Since then, he started his own business, Integrated Tower Services LLC, and has turned it into a multi million dollar company. No matter the business success or obstacles in his path, one thing stays constant. He will always be racing. See how he is able to juggle it all in this exclusive interview.

Tell me about your business success.

Integrated Tower Services LLC is a telecommunications company that provides full turn key solutions for carriers such as Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile etc. To give you a better idea of full turn key services. We are the guys that are climbing towers and installing Antennas, Fiber and even building the tower from the ground up. With thousands and thousands of towers across the United States and even the world in what is claimed a very small industry, it’s only estimated with roughly 15,000 tower climbers across the US. That makes for a very busy fast paced customer serving industry. We are indirectly responsible for cell phone service areas and rural areas. Basically, without companies like Integrated Tower Services none of would have cell phones. It’s a high demanding, risky career as safety is always our #1 priority. Since, telecommunication companies are the backbone to our cell phone service, that means we are on call 24/7 seven days a week. This includes holidays and disaster relief.

What is your inspiration?

Success. I always want to be successful at everything I do. Sometimes, I’m not always as successful as I wish, but that just means you have to work harder. When I see my teammates, friends, colleagues being successful, that is an inspiration for me. Giving back, encouraging others and inspiration all work together hand in hand. Helping a friend reach their goals by encouraging them, is inspirational for me. Being supportive to friends and family is inspirational. Helping colleagues through advice and hard work is inspirational to me because it shows working together or working alone but at the same time helping others is rewarding for many people other than just myself, and that is inspirational.

How do you stay motivated?

Motivation is one thing I think I have truly blessed with the man upstairs. My motivation is a passion. When I set out to do something, I dive deep into it. I can never do anything partial, maybe that is a little OCD, I don’t know. But, whether it’s racing or my business, when I set forth a goal, I work very hard to reach that goal, even if there are setbacks along the way. Sometimes I will envision a big picture goal. For example, One day I want to race in the Sprint Cup Series. That is a big goal that will take time, no doubt. But if you make goals within the big picture goal, then you are being successful along the way to your overall original goal. That will leave you with encouragement and inspiration along the way. So make several goals, not just one and will you are successful that will motivate you and if you aren’t a business success as you had wished then motivate yourself to another stepping stone goal. Just don’t give up.

What is your day to day like?

My day to day is usually pretty busy. I travel just about every week for racing. Whether it’s NASCAR, Drag Racing, or Dirt Track Racing, there is racing all the time. So I am always on the go. With this, I still carry the responsibility of my business. Luckily, I am blessed with technology in my time era, so that enables me to work and communicate while always being on the go. I only average about 5 hours a sleep a night. I’m not so blessed in the sleeping aspect of life, my schedule doesn’t allow for it and hasn’t for a long time, so I believe I just have became accustomed to it. But, I never start my day without coffee, it’s a must. From there my obligations will include Emails, Social Media, Photoshoots, Interviews, Videos, Meetings, Speaking Engagements, Charity Work, Kids and Family.

What is some advice you can give to aspiring business owner who wants to be a business success?

Be prepared for setbacks, be prepared for struggles, be prepared for stress. You must dedicate yourself full-time to what you want to accomplish, make a big picture goal, and make stepping stone goals for along the way. It won’t be easy. I’ve found it more difficult to be a business owner as my company grew. The more your company will grow, the more responsibility you will have, the more money it will take. You have to make risk, without risk, there is no reward. To become a business success, you must dedicate yourself to your customers, you must build on your goals. Keep setting goals, goal after goal. You have to be passionate about what you want to do. You have to love what you are doing. That passion will feed your motivation, your motivation will accomplish your goals, your business success will keep you motivated. You will then become an inspiration to others. Let everything feed on each other. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.

What are some obstacles you’ve overcome?

Too many to count or keep track of. You will or already have obstacles in your way on a daily basis. Become a bulldozer and push through it. Sometimes, you have to learn the hard way, I always did and still do. I haven’t always been successful. I still don’t consider myself successful, because I am still working towards my big picture goals. But, along my journey in life, I’ve been put in rough situations. My family wasn’t wealth. I spent my late childhood putting myself in situations I wish I never have. Can’t say I grew up on the streets, but where I grew up, it was very easy to become accustomed to a negative life style. For anyone, that is obstacle. Growing up as a teenager in Los Angeles can be rough. I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way, but learning from your mistakes… I’ll stop right there for a second. I want to emphasize something. You have to, it’s a complete must, you must have the ability to learn from your own mistakes. Your mistakes are obstacles. You are going to make mistakes along the way without a question. I didn’t finish high school, I kind of consider that an obstacle, a mistake for sure. But, years later, I worked towards and eventually received my GED. I think my best answer to your question is learn from your mistakes, they are obstacles.

What was your proudest moment?

Becoming a husband and a father.

How has NASCAR affected your life?

I don’t believe it has affected my life in any way. I believe it has embraced it. It has given me a new passion.

What was your journey like in motorsports?

I have been very fortunate to have been blessed with setting and still holding several different records in a few of the different types of racing I am currently doing. It has been an awesome learning experience along the way for all types of racing. I wouldn’t change any of it. Whether I am winning or losing, it has been very rewarding to me. It’s been fun. I have had a ton of support. Support that has motivated me, motivation that fueled my passion to be successful in racing. It won’t happen overnight, but believe, I am working on winning a championship sooner than later.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Racing in the Sprint Cup Series hopefully!

Is there anything exciting happening in the near future?

Lots of racing and I recently just finished building a mini studio at my house. Soon, my website will have live feed access to all my races and I am working on building a youtube channel show called “Juggling Racelife with Family Life”

Jie writes about influencers and startups in various industries. She is a designer turned techie, and when she is not writing, you can find her in her workshop working on her next big project.

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People

Advocating For Yourself In Any Language: Q&A With Fanny Stassar of Memrise

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I’m not sure if any of you have been reading the news lately, but it really ain’t easy for a woman in this world. Between the oppression, dismissals, interruptions, and generally unpleasant situations, women need all the help they can get. Enter Memrise, the world’s most innovative and effective language learning app. 

Fanny Stassar, the Senior French Language Specialist at Memrise, has been enthusiastically spearheading specific language lessons for women traveling abroad. She has led the company in a progressive direction by developing a collection of phrases in six of their most popular languages.

Memrise is aiming to give women travelers the tools they need to communicate effectively and assertively while traveling abroad. And with Stassar taking the lead, they’re sure to succeed.

We sat down with Stassar to get some insight on this project and how she encourages her female peers to advocate for themselves in any language. 

Can you describe a situation where a woman would need a specific language to protect herself? How do you know this is effective?

It can feel quite helpless and vulnerable when we don’t understand what people are saying around us, or when we can’t make ourselves understood. Having some expressions and sentences you can easily remember and rely on when you need them the most can be a game-changer. Simply being able to ask for help or ask for someone to stop whatever they’re doing that makes us uncomfortable can both be empowering and make us safer. 

Let’s say someone is bothering you in a bar, you may be more likely to call them out on their behavior and make them stop, or you may be more prepared to ask for help.

On the other hand, if you don’t have any knowledge of the language to ask for help or express that you feel in danger, you might completely shut down or truly not know what to do or who to turn to.

I think for me, especially when I was younger, street harassment was always a huge source of anxiety and fear at times. French phrases like laisse-moi tranquille (“leave me alone”), and non c’est non (“no means no”), instantly come to my mind. In Japanese, I really like the sentences 興味ありません (“I’m not interested”) and 失礼ですよ (“that’s rude”).

How would a woman use language to assert herself?

I think we’re still used to associating power, assertiveness, and confidence more with men than women – especially in the workplace. Women tend to be interrupted, ignored, or have ideas stolen more so than men – especially women of color and ethnic minorities. Being prepared to use “I’ve not finished my point,” or “I’m still talking” when that happens can ensure you assert yourself and make your point across. 

If you take the time to prepare yourself before a meeting, in which you feel that might happen, then you’re more likely to make yourself heard (and that’s true for everyone). You will also potentially be more prepared to call it out when you see a colleague being interrupted or ignored.

What kind of success do you anticipate with this specific use of language? 

Hard one to answer! I think I’m still from a generation when you would learn that it’s better not to make waves. We’re taught that if someone is bothering you, it is best you leave the situation and not “make it worse.” 

I think things are definitely changing; behaviors that may have been acceptable or shrugged off in the past, are now being called out and mentalities are evolving a lot thanks to that. 

But to be able to call things out, you need the words and to me, the success of those courses is in modeling those words, modeling how to call out, how to make yourself and others respected, regardless of your gender, your age, the way you dress, or your job title. The success of these courses to me would be making even just one person feel more confident about how to make themselves respected in any kind of situation. 

What has your experience been as a woman in a leadership role?

I do look up to the female leaders I have the chance to work with, as well as those in my personal life. I’ve learned a lot from the female leaders in my life, especially about the way they express themselves and the words and intonations they use to assert themselves. I try to apply some when I need to. Things like “trust me, I know what I’m talking about” when their expertise is put in doubt; “let me finish my point” when someone jumps the gun before they finished talking. I know on paper these can sound quite confrontational, but when said with a calm, confident voice, there is nothing defensive about those phrases.

 How do you encourage your peers to advocate for themselves and their principles? 

I try to be a good listener and if I’m interrupting someone, I will call myself out. I hope sets the example that it’s OK to call someone out for interrupting. There isn’t always malice behind it. Something I try to do more of is to celebrate my workmates when it is due. I make sure light is shone on their work, ideas, and efforts, especially with those who tend to not talk about their work too much. 

At Memrise, we also wanted to include sentences that can be used to uplift your peers and show them you’ve got their backs. I love the Spanish sentence no te dejes pisotear (“don’t let others walk over you”), and the Korean 전 당신을 믿어요 (“I believe you”). In German you can say kannst du sie bitte ausreden lassen? (“can you let her finish speaking please?“), which is a great way to advocate for someone.

Some people are great communicators and will make sure that they get recognition when due. Others might find it more difficult or uncomfortable, so I try to bring that up when I can.

–Learn more about this constructive effort on Memrise’s site here. If you’re looking to learn a new language, you can’t do better than Memrise.

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The 5 Most Badass Ukrainian Quotes

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When Putin decided he wanted to go down in history as the next Hitler, he probably never considered just how fiercely the Ukrainian people would resist. There are plenty of examples of badassery by Ukrainians, but here is a list of five of the most badass Ukrainian quotes. 

“Take these seeds and put them in your pockets. So, at least sunflowers will grow when you lie down here.”

Source

A badass Ukrainian woman marched up to a Russian soldier and gave him a piece of her mind. Her words speak loudly: 

“Prove you are with us.”

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Zelensky has emerged as one of the most inspirational leaders of our time. Certainly since Churchill. One day after signing the EU application, Zelensky pleaded with EU members to make their support for Ukraine loud. 

We are fighting to be equal members of Europe.

prove that you are with us. Do prove that you will not let us go. Do prove that you are indeed Europeans and then life will win over death and light will win over darkness.

“The EU will be much stronger with us.

That speech is made all the more stirring by the existence of this clip: 

“I would do it again.”

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A 55-year-old Ukrainian sailor attempted to sink a Russian oligarch’s superyacht while it was docked in Mallorca, Spain. He opened valves in the yacht’s engine room as “revenge” for a Russian helicopter attack on a civilian building in Kyiv. 

When put in front of a judge, the sailor had proudly proclaimed that he had no regrets. 

“Russian warship, go f**k yourself.”

Source

Soldiers on Snake Island, a tiny island west of Crimea, faced down a Russian warship and held their ground. 

This is a Russian military warship. I suggest you lay down your weapons and surrender to avoid bloodshed and needless casualties. Otherwise, you will be bombed.”

“Russian warship, go f**k yourself.”

Snake Island was bombed by the Russian warship. Initially, it was reported that the soldiers had been killed. Now, there are reports that they actually survived. Regardless, the soldiers are heroes and their defiance of the Russian military screams “badass Ukrainian.” 

“The fight is here. I need ammunition, not a ride.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was offered asylum by the United States in order to escape capture or execution. And who would blame him? Any of us might take the opportunity to govern safely from afar. Zelensky defied that. Instead, he is staying in Kyiv and leading his citizens fiercely. 

This quote will go down in history as one of the most inspirational quotes of all time. It’s easy to see why Zelensky is universally adored by the West. 

These are not the only examples of badass Ukrainians. There are several reports of “tankjacking” of Russian tanks by Ukrainian citizens. Citizens are being taught how to build Molotov cocktails. People are building as big a roadblock as they can to stop the 40-mile-long Russian convoy. 

There is no stopping Ukraine and all the progress they’ve made. 
Here’s how you can help the people of Ukraine.

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People

Reparations for Black Americans Now

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In 1988, the United States passed legislation called the Civil Liberties Act. This law stated the “grave injustice” that had been done to Japanese Americans during World War II. In addition to a formal apology by the U.S. Government, $20,000 (roughly $44,000 today) was allocated to all those who had been interned and were still alive at the time. 

Actor George Takei was one of those individuals. 

I was 5 years old at the time.

“It was a terrorizing morning I will never be able to forget. Literally, at gunpoint, we were ordered out of our home.” 

In 1942, Executive Order 9066 commanded that any and all Japenese-American citizens, regardless of how many generations they had lived in the United States, be interned in a concentration camp. 

For us, it was four horrific years.

“For African-Americans, it’s four torturous centuries.” 

The first attempt at reparations for Black Americans was known as “40 Acres and a Mule.” That attempt was eventually scrapped once Andrew Johnson took office.

Since then, there have been scant attempts at reparations for Black Americans by the United States Government. 

It’s time that reparations for Black Americans be awarded. Now. 

Why Haven’t There Been Proper Reparations for Black Americans?

It’s 400 years of atrocities. Slavery, Jim Crow, redlining, voter suppression, aggressive policing, minstrel shows, and much, much more. 

Other minority and marginalized groups have received some form of reparations from the U.S. Government. According to a 2020 paper by Rashawn Ray and Andre Perry:

Native Americans have received land and billions of dollars for various benefits and programs for being forcibly exiled from their native lands. 

“For Japanese Americans, $1.5 billion was paid to those who were interned during World War II. 

“Additionally, the United States, via the Marshall Plan, helped to ensure that Jews received reparations for the Holocaust, including making various investments over time. 

“In 1952, West Germany agreed to pay 3.45 billion Deutsche Marks to Holocaust survivors.

Black Americans are the only group that has not received reparations for state-sanctioned racial discrimination, while slavery afforded some white families the ability to accrue tremendous wealth.”

When Black Americans Create Their Own Wealth, It’s Stripped From Them. Sometimes Violently.

Look no further than the Tulsa Massacre for a clear example of this. It’s hard to comprehend why white Americans cannot handle the idea of an independently wealthy Black American. 

A Black American who has had opportunity stripped away from them based on their race should qualify for damages and have that wrong righted – no matter how recent or long ago it may have been. 

How Do We Determine Who Receives Reparations? 

We can determine the descendants of enslaved Africans by DNA testing, census information, and birth records are good places to start. 

For example, Senator Cory Booker did DNA testing and determined that his lineage stemmed from Sierra Leone. 

Michelle, Sasha, and Malia Obama would qualify for certain reparations because they descend from enslaved Africans. Barack Obama, the son of a Kenyan immigrant and white mother, would not. 

It won’t be easy to determine who or how many Black Americans will receive reparations but it is absolutely worth the effort. Not just because it will be a critical step towards healing America’s festering wound but because it’s the right thing to do. 

The National African-American Reparations Commission (NAARC) has been working since 2015 on accomplishing the goal of reparations for Black Americans. 

There is also HR-40, which would establish a Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans. The commission would examine slavery and discrimination in the colonies and the U.S. from 1619 to the present and recommend appropriate remedies. 
We have to at least try. Black Americans deserve reparations for all the everything White America has put them through.

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