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Published On: Thu, Sep 5th, 2019

Who Do I Think I Am?


I have a lot of nerve, literally.

Soy atrevido.


After a few false starts, I have finally decided to focus on writing “the book”.

I am not even sure why the book is so important but it has become one of the things that have clearly knocked me out of my comfort zone. I can see it, feel it and touch it. I can read parts of the book in my dreams. I see me on stage giving a TedX speech I already wrote about the book that has yet to be written.

Why write the book?

The back story really begins when I decided to write a book alongside a group of Latino creators, influencers and tastemakers in the Hispanic space, all people I respect. When I started writing my chapter I asked myself a single question that would paralyze me for years.


Who the fuck do I think I am writing a chapter in a book of this caliber?


I mean, my co-authors are brand strategists, with industry awards & people with degrees. In my head, I was thinking nobody wants to hear from a dropout who started a website in 1997, in the dawn of the dot com era and never managed to get acquired or get investors. Who wants to really take advice from someone who never scaled into a full-fledged company?

The voice inside of me whispered back “Nobody”

Sigh…


SuddenlyI felt like this wasn’t a good idea. I was not good enough in my own head. It impacted the writing in a few ways. I found myself trying to match the voice of my peers, whom I believed to be better than me.


I still wrote the piece, but as I was writing itI realized that by 2017, I had survived 20 years consistently building community, creating content in written, video and audio format and consulting with some of the most amazing voices in the arts, music, tv, film industries, as well as legendary community builders and activists.


Over the past 22 years, I worked with brands and helped them shape campaigns that would appeal to the 25-50 English dominant Latino segment that skewed heavily with Latinas (80%+). I developed projects that allowed me to be the first to hand many artists, poets, and influencers the first check they would ever receive doing what they love most. I co-founded multiple National collectives in Tech, Social Media and in the Arts that are still relevant today. I helped National organizations see the power of Social Media to impact public health projects. I have built conferences and created opportunities for hundreds of influencers who lead the space today. I have consulted entrepreneurs in launching businesses that tap into their passions and have proven that there is an audience/space for culturally unique remixes of things already in the marketplace. The arts collective I co-created with Juan Santiago has not only survived 12 years in a gentrifying community but has also evolved into a school providing workshops embedded in community organizations with a legacy of their own. 

Vintage Splash Page For Sofrito For Your Soul

Finally, my website, Sofrito For Your Soul has provided a platform for our people to be heard and seen when other platforms did not think those voices were loud enough. They refused to let us stand on their soapbox or use their bull horn. So many established authors published on my site before they went to print. I have supported community organizations and amplified their efforts consistently for over two decades.

Not to mention I survived most of the websites that followed me, those that had investors and staff. I am still here, still relevant and I do not feel I have even started on what I really want to do.


I am just scraping the surface, there is so much more; I guess I will save it for the book.


My point is, my story is bigger than that one chapter.

My story deserves its own place on a bookshelf. My grandmother’s legacy, which is the foundation of this community fort I have built, is a few chapters before we even get into how I stepped into my power. I realized that I cannot depend on others to tell my story. It is important that you hear it from me, whether it’s through a blog, video, podcast or keynote.

The book will be a collection, really a deeper dive into stories you may have heard me tell on timelines across MiGente, Friendster, LatinFlava, ICaramba, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


More importantly… you will know the why – Why I do what I do, why it is necessary and why the only thing I want to do is let you know that there is power in your story too and inspire you to leverage your truth to make the world a better place.


So, even though the story was mine, the chapter was too long and it was not in my own voice, I did the unthinkable. I backed away from the book project, I ripped up the draft, deleted every copy and decided I would write it in my own voice. That means I may write words in Spanglish, without italicizing words or explaining their meaning. It means I write my book without caring if the mainstream accepts it. It means that it may be filled with random stanzas of Spanglish poetry and quotes not typical of a business book.

It also meant that I needed to un-hustle my life enough to have the time and inspiration to see this through. What I did not mention is that my Grandmother (Mama) lost her battle with cancer, and Hurricanes Irma and Maria causing a tragic disruption for thousands of families and for me personally/spiritually all at once. It was the sign I needed to pack up my life, get rid of most of the things I own and take a sabbatical to travel and create. The dream is to build a new life in Puerto Rico.

The work I seldom talk about in Puerto Rico since the storms have fed my inspiration, has given me a new purpose, and everything I have ever built is now coming together strategically to impact the community in the most unbelievable of ways, as we rebuild our island. The island has once again become a semillero.


Audit. Align. Amplify

were my three words for 2019

Where I am while I write this convinces me that this will be the most important work I will do in my lifetime… I am grateful to all of you who have followed me on this crazy adventure, se te quiere de gratis sabes?

Now, I Build Legacy

That’s what Mama would have expected from me and I am doing it by sharing my #SocialSofrito with you. Ganamos si todos ganamos!

So….
who the hell do I think I am?


Soy el hijo de Carmen, y el Nieto de Gloria.

Una Jodienda Humana.


Buen Provecho,


Thank you for letting me be part of your journey as you watched mine unfold. 

George Torres

Your Friendly Neighborhood Jibaro

Siempre a la orden.

Oh before you leave…

Last but not least…

I wanted you to know that Mama would always say to me…

“Papi, all you need is Love & Sofrito”

Those words inspired this movement 22 years ago, today I honor her words with this special edition t-shirt design.

You can buy it at ShopSociallyNYC.com 

Read more: http://www.sofritoforyoursoul.com/unhustling-my-life/#ixzz5p5AQ4h44

Who Do I Think I Am?