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Feature No. 3, "I feel alive doing things that could kill me"

LAWRENCE "LOU" WILDER

Occupation: Mixologist, singer, MMA figther, aspiring real state agent
Birthplace: Cleveland, OH
Current Location: Cleveland, OH
A word I'd use to describe myself is: Tenacious
I feel most like myself when: I'm performing

What triggers joy in you? When do you feel most alive?

I feel joy when I’m winning and I feel most alive when I’m doing something that could kill me. I am an MMA fighter and I’ve ranked in the region in two different weight classes. It’s pretty scary. I’ve had that crazy feeling where I felt like “this could be it” with my life flashing before my eyes.

What does a “life well lived” mean to you?

A life well lived touches a lot of people. It means you were able to affect people in a positive way, teach others and leave something behind for your family. Whether that’s your work or some type of reputation, you make things a bit easier for them.

How do you get inspired?

I generally get obsessed with whatever it is I’m trying to be inspired with. I kind of get lost in my head in a sense - in a good way - and go down the rabbit hole. I get inspired by the challenge and the experience. I’d rather do it and fail or succeed than never try. Not having regrets later drives me to be inspired.

Think of the 3 people you spend the most time with. What do they all have in common?

They are all very organized thinkers and people. They’re goal driven and tend to attack things in a methodical way.

What change(s) have you made in your life that’ve had the most profound impact?

Slowing down. Moving a bit slower has allowed me to benefit in my relationships with others, especially in my business relationships. The connections that I’ve made professionally are starting to come full circle.

What are you going to take away from this time in your life?

I just turned 30 and I feel like I lived a few different lives in my 20s. I’ve gotten to do a bunch of really cool things from joining the army reserves to bartending to singing to now, getting my real estate license.

I don’t have kids and I don’t have a girlfriend right now, so I’m able to really focus on a career and make that my own. I want to take that into my 30s and really hone my career and my ability to make money and take things to the next level.

Which of your five senses do you get the most enjoyment out of?

Listening. I kind of do everything with my hearing. I am really outgoing, but also really, really reserved. I’d call myself an introvert over an extrovert, so being a reserved individual, I like to listen. It brings me joy to listen to music, especially as an artist and I learn through listening.

What’s something that makes you nervous or uncomfortable? Why?

Underperforming. I don’t like being the weak link on the team.

What’s the process of how you get into your creative flow?

I typically smoke and then I sit down and listen to whatever it is I’ve been listening to for a billion, trillion times in a row, and then I just start going. It’s typically a linear process. There’s a start and a stop and there might be a pause, but I usually finish things all in one go. Then, if I need to come back to it, I do.

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