People are out there every day working boring, mundane, unfulfilled, dead-end jobs (I was one one of them) for years, just to make ends meet, never really getting the full experience of what life should truly be about – a fulfillment of happiness! Enter Farbod, a friend who has been instrumental in motivating me to control and take life by the reigns again.
I’ve known Farbod for over four years and the one thing that has stayed consistent throughout our friendship was that he was always doing something batshit crazy in public or mingling with people that are on TV at some exclusive Hollywood party, and always having the time of his life while doing so.
About a year or so ago, he started writing inspirational posts on Facebook to help motivate his friends and remind them to not take life for granted by exploring the world and taking more risks. I really started paying attention to his words more, sometimes engaging in heartfelt discussions, and we became closer friends over time because of it.
Now I have the opportunity to get to know him a little better by asking him a few questions about his history, his secrets to not getting caught by security, his hilarious personas, and how he was able to work for some of the biggest entertainment companies in the world.
“If I would pay to watch a game of basketball, then I want to work in basketball. I want to get paid to be around the things I would pay for.”
– Farbod Esnaashari
How Networking and Acts of Kindness Led to Turning Passions into Careers
Can you share with us a little about your upbringing?
It’s funny – I was the last child growing up so my childhood was really mellow.
I didn’t really do the traditional camping, theme parks, and all that stuff after the age of six. I never got into trouble and I was a pretty good student, so my parents seldom got mad at me. They let me play video games all day, so that’s what I did. I also watched A LOT of wrestling.
It wasn’t until college where I became a really dedicated student.
I remember sitting on my couch annoyed after school one day because some classmates were talking trash about me being dumb. It really pissed me off just thinking about it.
That was the moment something triggered inside me and I developed a competitive drive.
I ended up graduating from UCI with a 3.97, top of my class, not because I wanted a job, but because I wanted the results.
I understand you have quite the work history. Can you share a little bit about what companies you’ve been with and how you got started with them?
Pretty much every job I have had has come from making friends and networking.
For the past year my occupations have been: an advertisement technician for the LA Clippers / USC, a researcher for ESPN, a studio page at Paramount Studios, a marketing manager for a major live streaming company, and freelance writing on wrestling / UFC for a website called Champions.
I like writing and doing things that can motivate or entertain people. I always think in my head “everybody has bad days” so if I’m doing things that don’t alleviate that, what’s the point?
I feel like I have a lot of passions. I love basketball, movies, wrasslin’, writing, working out, the thrill of sneaking into things, and having fun. Having fun might seem kind of generic, but if you know me, you’ll know how much more fun I have in ordinary situations compared to a regular person.
What does a typical day look like for you from morning until evening?
If it’s NBA season, my days are pretty long.
I’ll wake up around 7am and do my regular 9 to 5 job, and then from there head to the arena where I work from 5:30pm – 10:30pm. After that I drive back home in Irvine from LA, and get home usually around 11:30pm. On some nights when I have to do my ESPN job I’ll have to stay up until 1 in the morning and work.
If it’s a regular day without an NBA game, I work from 9 to 6, go to the gym, get home, and catch up on whatever I enjoy doing, like playing games, watching basketball, spending time with friends, recording dumb Snapchats, or catching up on Sunday television.
I would say that the majority of my free time is spent hustling and doing favors for other people, though. I’ll help them get into a Clipper game, the Paramount movie studio, or anything else that I have access to.
What personal skills do you think helped propel you in your careers and differentiate you from others?
I think that the “I’ll do anything it takes” drive I had in college really helped me out. It helps kick me into an extra gear that I feel like a lot of people lack. My overall ability to handle multiple jobs and hustle really differentiates me. I don’t know many people who hustle as hard as I do.
I think the ability to relate to people helps me a lot too. I understand that everybody has hardships they don’t speak of.
I was watching Narcos (Netflix series) the other day and heard Pablo Escobar say “I specialize in making deals” and that’s pretty much how I feel about myself.
Being in an NBA arena and a movie studio helped out a lot, too. It taught me how to “act like I’ve been there before.”
What I’ve learned though, is that everything in life is a domino effect; kindness in every moment matters. Meeting one person can lead to one event, which can lead to another, and so on. Things may not go your way now, but a decision here or there can make it go your way eventually.
But how do you maximize it all? Just be kind and work hard. Know what you want and be bold.
For as long as I have known you, you have been a master at getting into the most exclusive Hollywood parties, major events and happenings. Where have you been and who have you met?
I’ve honestly met nearly everyone: the cast of Star Wars Episode 7, Game of Thrones, X-Men, Silicon Valley, Straight Outta Compton, Workaholics, Harry Potter, Deadpool, Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, Spider-Man, James Cameron, George R.R. Martin, and more.
I’m friendly with them at parties, and have some crazy stories of partying with the casts of these shows, but there are only a handful of them that I exchange numbers with and keep up with.
I try not talk about this stuff publicly to be honest because I like being low-key with it., keeping it within a circle of friends. I’ve snuck into everything there is to sneak into except The Oscars and The Emmys.
Now obviously you can’t reveal everything, but do you think we can get a basic guideline on what we should focus on to get into these types of events?
Generally people would tell you the secret is to act confident and “act like you’ve been there”, but that’s not the only step.
I have a general set of rules I’ve learned from years of sneaking into things that I tend to implement:
- ALWAYS be in motion. You never want to stand still at all unless you’re talking to somebody.
- Get a feel for the situation and be ready to look a couple steps ahead at what is going on. For example, if you see somebody with a clipboard letting people in, take initiative to see if they are actually checking names.
- Make friends with the people in line next to you, and do it as early as possible. In case the whole group might get let in by a PR person, they will let you in as well.
- Make friends in general. It will help you blend in.
- Don’t ask questions. Ever. Just ask for forgiveness later. The second you let people know that you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re done.
- ARRIVE EARLY. THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. Lines are chaotic at these parties from the beginning of the night and the people in charge don’t want to hold anyone up or piss anyone off. You won’t get singled out because there are too many people, but the later you wait to try and sneak into something, the harder it’ll be for you.
How did your character personalities (Club Perz, Macho Bod, etc.) come about and how do you generate your ideas for them?
I just tend to see things, and then realize I can do my own spin and impersonation of them. I really like wrestling and Macho Man Randy Savage, so I figured I could do my own take on him.
I feel like my brain tends to work like an improv skit. I’ll see something, like a guy walking on the street, and immediately make up a story in my head about him. The ideas will pile up in my head and then turn it into what I think is the funniest possible situation that could happen to him.
Like for the “Club Perz” character, I just think of the funniest stereotypical caricature of a Persian guy I could do, then think of random situations that could happen to him that I find funny.
Back when you started making those posts on Facebook, I’ve been meaning to ask you, what motivates you to do what you do every day?
Understanding the fact that I am in fact dying. It motivates me every day to do the things that make me happy.
I’ve been waking up every morning with one thing in mind “To live like I’m dying, but to refuse to die as an ordinary person.”
Who are your biggest inspirations and what do they mean to you?
Michael Jordan. He channeled his anger and failure into success. He’s the best example of a competitive sociopath who achieved greatness with a chip on his shoulder.
Sometimes it’s not certain people that are inspiring to me, but the things they say. For instance, this Will Smith quote always hits hard for me:
“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right? You’re not going to out-work me.”
What is your greatest fear in life?
My greatest fear is dying not living up to my potential.
How do you manage it?
It’s tough. The only way I can manage it is to live my dreams day by day, and live them long enough to the point where I feel like I’ve reached my potential.
Slow motion is better than no motion.
If you could travel back to day one of your work career and have 15 min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heartache, what would you tell yourself?
Be more professional. It’s cool to have fun and enjoy what you do, but when eyes are on you, be professional.
I would also tell myself to intern for a Viacom company on top of interning for the Clippers. Putting all of my eggs in that one basket was a dangerous decision which at the time set me back really far.
I spent hundreds of unpaid hours in the office and didn’t end up with a full-time job. I dealt with it by taking a gamble and interning a second year, but with the sole purpose in mind of networking and finding a third-party job that was more flexible, and still kept me in the arena, which is what I ended up finding.
Everything ended up working perfectly as I still have that dream job, and have other jobs I love doing.
If someone quit whatever they were doing today to pursue their passion, what advice would you give to them?
A few years ago I received some advice from a friend of mine who decided to be an unpaid video intern for the Clippers at the age of 30. A year later he became the Assistant Video Coordinator for the Portland Trailblazers and travels with the team. He told me, “While you are 20 and still have the luxury of relying on your parents, just go for whatever you want. It gets harder as you get older, so chase what you want while you’re younger.”
What is one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with?
Getting good grades in college doesn’t really matter much. If you’re trying to go to graduate school it does, but otherwise it doesn’t.
What habits and mindset helped make you successful?
- Avoiding wasting time.
- Meeting people and understanding how to deal with them.
- Working out helps because of the fact that I got to meet so many people through the gym. At the Paramount Studios gym, everybody I talked to was usually a somebody, and a really good connection to have.
- Understanding that I’m dying and time is always ticking
- Refusing to take naps. I look at naps as a failure of time management from my yesterday, affecting my today. If I had poor time management the day before and had really little sleep, then took a nap, that means I’m not learning anything.
- Understanding that “I don’t have time” is not an excuse; the real excuse is “I just didn’t care enough.” It helps prioritize in your mind what you do and don’t actually care for.
- Turning the things I “should” do into the things I “must” do.
How can you minimize the unknowns?
I think by both doing a little bit of research, and networking. For instance, when I took that job at Paramount Studios as a Page I wasn’t sure if it was a trap job. But I talked to a lot of people that used to be Pages and saw that if you hustled you could get a job from it. The networking helps because it establishes some backup plans, in case the job itself won’t help you. If you can’t get something in a linear fashion, the networking helps you get it in through a circular motion.
What is the best advice you received recently, and that you still follow?
“Turn the things you want to do, into things you must do.” I still regularly follow it, it’s actually helped me with my New Year’s resolution. Day 308 and counting.
And finally, how do you envision success?
I care a lot about my legacy and how much impact my life is going to have when I die.
We live in an era of technology, where the convenience of technology makes our lives easier. The one thing I want to be remembered for is if I made other people’s lives easier.
When people see me, I want them to know that the hardships of life weren’t as hard as they thought they were.
I think that’s that greatest thing a person can do; I think that’s the job of human beings.
If I can do that, then I consider my life a success.
All images used were provided by Farbod’s Facebook and Instagram.
Do you have any friends that have inspired you like I have? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!