We had the good fortune of connecting with fabian mandujano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fabian, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
Man. I’ve been through a lot. Growing up in a home that had a lot of poverty and drugs I had to constantly make the choice to live differently and think differently. Another hard choice that I had to make was either going to therapy or ending my marriage. I know things aren’t always black-and-white, but for us things got really dark and most of it was because I was living being triggered by my past.
The hardest part was knowing that I had to go back and process some of the hurt that I’ve been through so that I can move forward and learn to love those that are around me. Going through this business Boot Camp the last year was like doing therapy for my business. I learned a lot about myself and how my negative beliefs overflowed into my business. Chris Do said everything I want is on the other side of fear.
What’s one thing about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Not everything is as it seems in the video production industry. People put a lot of time and effort into creating something imaginary. In reality there’s a lot of things that are unfair about our industry like pay representation and work life balance.
Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career?
I’m so glad that I have someone in my life like my wife and my friend Gus that are very stable and rational people. They have given me the freedom to take risks that haven’t always led to success. But, I’ve always felt supported. All my life all I’ve known is taking risks so for me it comes pretty natural to take everything my business makes and put it back into it whether it’s in gear or training or an opportunity.
Do you have a favorite quote or affirmation? What does it mean to you / what do you like about it?
I have tons of favorite quotes and I have a whole list of affirmations. Shameless plug follow @storygroup.me on Instagram or follow #LOVETHESTORYYOUTELL for quotes and I’ll do a reel or post about my affirmations. But here’s a sneak peek
* I am known—even before I was born. (Jeremiah 1:5)
* I am loved. (John 3:16)
* I am found in you
* I am enough
* I am fierce in confidence and boldness because God is with me.
* I am here to do great things for the one that has done a great work in me.
* The fate of my fathers will not be mine.
* I am where the cycle breaks.
* Because I am free. (John 8:32)
* Because I am healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
* Because I am unashamed. (Romans 8:1)
* I am called and equipped to go after the righteous desires God puts in my heart.
What should our readers know about your business?
S T O R Y G R O U P helps caused based brands establish deeper, emotional connections with their audience to bring about social change and still yield a profit. We are a story-driven brand strategy consultancy. Working with caused based brands is our specialty. Making this decision wasn’t easy but it was natural. We look back over the last 10 years and to this day our favorite stories are stories and made an impact around the world.
We help organizations connect with their audiences in relatable ways that build communities and stronger brands.
What was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I don’t believe in accidents, but the idea of starting my own business came after getting let go from a great job that I had. I figured I could do weddings and everything would be just fine. This was at the end of 2019. I think the things that happened to me moved me in the right direction. Even though 2020 had no weddings in store for us, we slowly started getting more opportunities to tell commercial stories. I heard someone say that it’s easier to move an object that is already in motion than an object that is stagnant.
Other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
I bought really expensive camera equipment that I probably shouldn’t have bought. But I think an important decision that contributed to some of my success, if not all my success, has been by surrounding myself with people that are further along than I am. I invested in myself by being a part of a business Boot Camp hosted by someone I really admire, Chris DoFro the Futur.
What is the most important factor behind your success / the success of your brand? I don’t feel like Story Group has arrived. Then again I’m not sure I will ever feel that way. I think the most important factor for us is to be authentic. Over the years we have become more comfortable by showing who we really are with our unfinished edits, our emotional stories, and our simple way of thinking.
Work life balance: how has your balance changed over time? How do you think about the balance?
I think balance is something that we are obsessed over and we try to find a quick fix or an easy alternative for it. Lately, I’ve tried looking at my life more in seasons than anything else. There’s a season where I built. There is a summer. There is a winter and then there is a fall. My family has been very supportive in this time of building, but I feel like the bill needs to paid soon by taking them on a trip. I feel like the last couple years have been more about my emotional health and my mental health. I have tried to develop one habit a year that would help me be the truest version of myself. Whether it’s reading a book a week, listening to a podcast every day, running 3 times a week, or only eating meat once a day.
Why did you pursue an artistic or creative career?
Honestly, I think it’s a selfish way of helping people feel emotionally connected and seen. Growing up I was abandoned for a long period of time and I never really felt seen or loved by the people closest to me. I feel like telling stories through video it’s a perfect way to make an emotional connection and an impact. My favorite stories to tell are those of marginalized people groups in Latin America. I see myself in those stories.
What do you want your legacy to be? What do you want people to remember about you?
I like to think that I will leave a big impact on the world. This big thing in my life by which people remember me by, but the older I get and the more I see the smaller my world becomes. Yes,I would love to change the fucking world. However I would be just fine if I just change my world. If I’m just a fucking awesome dad that’s there for my kids like my dad wasn’t. A fucking awesome friend. A fucking awesome human that cares about other humans. I want to be someone that supports his spouse ahead of his own interest. Someone that takes his profits and helps a small group of people in my community. I want to do for one where I wish I could do for all. I want to create room for people like me to continue their journey.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Start off with good coffee shops near my house on the north west side. Cuppo coffee – shots of espresso on ice with Ube sauce
Ramen Barichi – near dairy ashford
Cascabel – vegan spot in my old hoood spring branch
Beirutí garden In the heights
Museum of natural sciences with the fam.
The houston zoo with the fam
noir studios for some dope photos
The rice box
If they were out of Texas I would totally take them to H-E-B and Whataburger no questions asked
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?
My amazing wife! The futur Business Bootcamp. Director Julian Martinez and Orlando Briones of filmatic. My right hand man and the guy that tells me what to do when I’m not at home, Gus Ruiz.
Photo cred Gus Ruiz, Daniel Arizpe