We had the good fortune of connecting with Ross Theisen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ross, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
So, I’m personally from a very small town in Ohio and had a very casual upbringing. It wasn’t awesome, but it wasn’t the worst. I’d say, not wonderful but somewhere in the middle. Truthfully when it comes to “entrepreneurship” I don’t really have a direct answer on where I got that itch. I was artsy as a kid and always had a wild imagination, so I was constantly creating my own stories through drawings, making my own comics, writing a lot, etc. The positive in it was that my family supported my artistic endeavors and luckily saw some skill or talent, so I think that helped build that creative foundation I build a lot on today. Outside of the creative side of things, I had a split family growing up, meaning, my parents weren’t together, and I had 2 sides to my family dynamic. Sparing tons of details, we’ll just say one side had some heavy negativity I lived through, where I was shown love via someone purchasing me whatever I wanted, but mentally abusing me. With the other side not being too well-off with money, but showed me what real respect and love was, not needing all the nice things. So, today, I feel very balanced in my wants/needs when it comes to business or any sort of success. I feel I lived “both sides” when it comes to having money, and it’s allowed me today to be able to survive with very little, and make more conscious decisions when it comes to spending, or making money!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
So, over the years I’ve gotten better at answering the whole “what do you do” thing, by summarizing my job title to “Creative Director”, but, that still opens the floodgates on what that really means haha. I’m a storyteller at heart. I love it. In any shape or form. Whether in Directing videos, taking photos, graphic design, actual writing, marketing, branding, anything and everything can have a purpose, intention and story, and thats what I focus on the most in my art. I think that’s how people can find genuine success in things (at least I hope) is by doing what is authentic to them at their core. For me, finding myself where I am today came from always knowing I had this “something” in me, and even if I couldn’t articulate it, I made sure to constantly find a way to express myself in work or art. Doing that though, was absolutely not easy, and still isn’t. Getting there is half the battle, staying there is the other, and it’s never ending. My biggest thing that helped me overcome many of the challenges was indeed making sure I was staying true to myself and what I wanted. I had to learn at some point to not say “YES” to every single project that came my way just because I was freelancing and needed to pay bills. While money is great, sometimes it takes more from you to GET that money, than what that money GIVES you in the end. So in that, one the biggest lessons I’ve learned in how to stay on track is to control your mindset. I know it sounds very “hippy” to say that, but how you think impacts everything. how you feel, what you do, how you interact with others, what you make, all of it. Once I learned that my thinking and how I reacted to things determined how bad or how good a situation was, it truly changed the way I worked. Rather than being angry, sad, or complaining when something wasn’t going right, I learned to take control of those things and work through it. To try and keep this already long answer shorter, I would wrap it up by saying id there’s one thing I’d really want everyone to know about my story, even though it’s still going and I have so much more to do, it’s that truly, anything is possible if you believe it is. I cannot tell you how many creatives I talk to who have rad ideas, but can’t get them going because they don’t actually believe they can do it. I still struggle with that daily, but once you start to understand it, you’re good to go. I want people to know I create from an authentic place and truly put my heart and soul into everything I do, even in small ways, and I hope it positively impacts someone. whether through entertaining or educating them, whatever the case may be.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So I feel like I have a rather boring answer to this as Im a pretty introverted dude when it comes to “going out” haha Im either working on something, or chilling hard at home. However, if someone really wanted a tour, I’d first take them to either Condado Tacos or Dirty Frank’s Hot Dogs here in Columbus. Those are 2 of my favorite spots to eat around here. Or BrewDog. I don’t drink but they have AMAZING food. We’d also probably hit the Franklinton Arts District as well and check out some of the spots and studios around there. that’s where my podcast studio/office is located and it’s a fun area, and also right near the Scioto Mile beside Downtown Columbus which is a fun place to walk around. We’d hit up a movie at either the Gateway or Marcus Theater too! Maybe the Columbus Zoo?
Half of this would also be fresh to me as well as, like I said, I hardly go out anywhere that often, so it would be rather new for us both! haha
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh man, truthfully there’s probably too many to name because I look at so many phases of my life where a certain person or entity helped me in some way. While I think it would be the normal cliche to say thanks to my family for supporting me and raising me in a way that allowed me to chase these goals, I do have to give a specific thanks to my Grandparents (both Mom’s and Dad’s side). After high school as I was attempting to figure out what exactly I wanted to do in life (I knew I didn’t want college and didn’t want a 9-5) my Grandparents were real big supporters for me and kept me afloat in so many ways. While nobody in my family really gave “push back” on pursuing entrepreneurship, it was the Grandparents who sort of took the reigns on helping me out in so many ways. They paid my way to moving to Columbus, they actively paid my rent and bills whenever I had no more than legitimately $1 to name while trying to do this stuff. So yeah, while there’s many things I would thank, I do think that they are at the top because they genuinely and truly helped me keep going so many times. I know they must’ve believed in me in order to do so.