- How do you personally define “Passion”?
For me, passion is that thing that motivates us to get out of bed in the morning. It's the feeling that inspires us to keep going when we feel like giving up. Passion is the desire that consumes our thoughts and our minds no matter where we are or what we're doing. I believe our passions are what gives our lives meaning and purpose.
- Please state your name and your personal passion.
My name? Well, that depends on who you ask. My name is C.J. Johnson a.k.a Remon a.k.a The Urban Advocate a.k.a The Titan of Tact. And if I had to sum my passion up into one word, it would be entertainment. On some level or another, I'm passionate about everything I do, otherwise I wouldn't do it. Business, music, radio, film, comedy shows, fashion; I've had my hand in all of it at some point. But, it all ties back into my desire to uplift people. I have this desire to have a positive impact on the world around me and the people in it.
- How did you and your passion meet?
I believe my passion and I officially met when I started my multi-media company, The Urban Advocate. I mean, throughout my life my passion has always been there. I've always wanted to entertain people, always wanted to enlighten people and always wanted to inspire people; but, I didn't know how exactly I was going to go about doing any of that. It's like this nagging feeling you get on the inside of you. Like you know there is something you're supposed to do and it's something that's innately embedded in you, right? Yet you don't know how to manifest it; you don't know how to bring it out of you. I don't think I discovered how I was going to do it until The Urban Advocate came about. That's when I had that revelation like, "This is it!" This was going to be a way for me to take everything that I enjoyed, everything I loved and pull it all together under one umbrella. Before I knew it, I found myself walking in everything and doing everything I always envisioned myself doing. Like I didn't have to manifest anything. All I had to do was act on the things that were already inside of me. Do the things that came natural for me and my passion organically manifested itself.
- What motivates you to continue pursuing this passion?
What motivates me is my desire to see everything I envision in my mind come to fruition. My mind is constantly going; it never stops, I swear! It drives me crazy sometimes. It's constantly coming up with ideas, constantly setting goals; like I've developed insomnia, I lose sleep at night working on current projects and brainstorming about new ones. Again, this is something that's embedded in me. It's like the air I breathe. If you take it away from me, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I'm not sure I would be able to survive without it.
- What are the most useful resources you use to stay educated toward your passion?
Well, I think the internet is the most useful resource in the world. One thing about me is I'm determined to be a student for the rest of my life. I'm determined to learn; learn about myself, about people, about business, about my craft, about the world, about life in general. So I'm always on the internet. Every day, all day. I'm watching videos, I'm reading articles, listening to interviews from people that inspire me. I just want to soak up as much as knowledge and wisdom as possible so I can incorporate into what I do and become a better version of myself in every area of my life.
- What is the most important thing you've learned from your passion?
The most important thing I've learned is that it's really not about me. I've learned that I'm just a vessel. Like I said, my passion is entertaining and uplifting people. With that, there's little room for selfishness because it's about how you can benefit humanity and society as a whole. That's not just with my radio show or just with the videos I produce. That's not just when I'm feeding the homeless or talking to teenagers at the youth prisons; this is an everyday thing with me. It's in everything I do. It's in my everyday conversations and everyday interactions with people. When I talk to people, I'm always thinking of how I can help this person. What can I contribute to this person's day or to their life? I want to leave a little light, or glimmer of hope, with everyone I come across. It's like every day I want to pay it forward. It's draining at times. Especially when you feel like you're not making as big of an impact as you would like or you feel like it's not being appreciated. You can start to second guess yourself. But, that's when I remind myself, it's not about me. It's about how I can affect the world around me and the people in it.
- What is the most unexpected thing you've learned?
The most unexpected thing I've learned is that I'm not alone. I used to think that I was the only one who thought the way I do, that felt the way I do. Even with all of my endeavors I thought no one understood what I was trying to do. But in the past 8 years I've met so many people who have the same mindset as me. They have the same mentality and want the same things out of life. That was a shock to me. It reaffirmed for me that I was on the right path.
- If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
If I could add one quality or ability to my repertoire it would be the thing that I struggle with the most, which is knowing what the healthy balance of life and work is. There are times where I lose myself in my work and people don't see or hear from me for a couple of weeks or a couple of months. You can get a little burned out like that. So if I could master one thing right now, that would be it.
- Who do you most admire in life? Why?
I don't want to get into naming individual names, but I'll say the person(s) I most admire is the one who came from nothing and made something out of it. The guy that comes from a disenfranchised background, knowing that the deck is stacked against him and he doesn't allow that to hold him back from accomplishing his goals or becoming successful. The lady that was able to make it to the top of the ranks in a male dominated industry and was able to keep her dignity and self-respect intact. That's who I admire, the underdog. The one that proved people were wrong when they counted them out. Those are my champions because they persevered against the odds.
- How do you measure success?
Success is definitely a divisive word. To me success is when you can financially live a comfortable life, when you're doing what you love to do, when you have peace of mind, you're in good health and you have love in your life. Now, that love can either be in the form a mate, a child, or just your family or friends; it doesn't matter as long as it's genuine and unconditional. That's my picture of success. When your overall quality of life is good and you're content. For some people that may come at the billionaire level, for others it may come with a couple million in the bank, others may see it with a $45,000 per year salary. The dollar amount isn't as important as the overall quality of life and whether they're living out their passion or not.
- What achievement are you most proud of?
The achievement that I'm most proud of is the man I see when I look in the mirror. I'm here, breathing at 31 years old and I'm doing the things I want to do in life. Where I come from a lot of people can't say that. I've had friends and family members killed; they died violent deaths. I've had friends and family members in and out of the prison. I have family members right now addicted to drugs and alcohol. I'm proud of the fact that I was able to avoid a lot of those pitfalls. The fact that I've never been arrested, I'm drug and alcohol free and the fact that I'm pursuing my goals and aspirations. Does that mean I'm perfect or that my life is without strife? By no means! Does that mean that I've achieved "success"? Not yet. What it means is I have a solid foundation to build on. And I'm on my way to becoming the man I always knew I could be.
- What things do you not like to do?
On a personal level, I really don't like to go out much. I'm a homebody. I would choose a quiet and peaceful night at home over a loud and crazy night out on the town any day. I don't like getting caught up in drama and chaos. I try to stay out of the mix as much as possible. Well, at least as much as I can as not to neglect the mixing and mingling I have to do for the work that I do.
On a professional level, I don't like taking on projects that have no substance to them. I don't like being a part of things that are unorganized. I don't like working with people who are in it for the wrong reasons. I take pride in my work and if my name or my brand's name is attached to it, I want it to be on point.
- What are you most thankful for? The thing I'm most thankful for is life! Like I said, I'm 31 years old and that in itself is a blessing for me. Almost 8 years ago I was diagnosed with a kidney disease, FSGS. That was a huge blow for me. It's made life difficult for me, especially with everything I have going on. But it's been almost 8 years, I still haven't needed dialysis and I haven't had to have a transplant yet. So I'm extremely thankful for that! I'm thankful to be alive.
- If you could have a 3 minute conversation with the younger version of you, what would you say?
If I could speak to the younger me, I would tell him how special he is and to stay focused, you're on the right path. Just don't be so hard on yourself; give yourself a break every once in a while. You're going to have setbacks, you're going to have obstacles, but you're going to overcome every single one of them. There are people who are watching you and admire you in ways you don't even realize yet. People who look to you to be the voice of reason and be the one that holds it together. That's okay, but don't put so much pressure on yourself. Make sure you're taking care of yourself, mentally, spiritually and physically.
- What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given? The best advice I was ever given was to learn how to say no. There was a time where I was excepting every project people would offer me. Every time someone would ask for my help, I would kill myself trying to be there for them. I was being pulled in 100 different directions and either things weren't getting done or they weren't getting done in a timely manner. I needed to learn to be selective about what projects I take on and who I decide to help. I had to learn how to say "no" sometimes.
In October of 2016, a website by the name of The Marketing Ivy released an interview with Remon, the founder of The Urban Advocate. For whatever reason, the interview was taken down from their site. Due to the great feedback, we have decided to re-release this interview for our people to read.
Remon is a multi-media personality. He is the founder of The Urban Advocate.