My Empowered World Contributor, Vincent Schilling

Author, Photojournalist, Public Speaker – Enrolled Member St. Regis Mohawk Tribe – Executive Vice-President Schilling Media, Inc.

An interview with a My Empowered World Contributor, Vincent Schilling

You are a multi-talented individual. What was your first passion? 

Well, first of all I have to say that I believe that all people are multi-talented. It is just a matter of embracing all of our talents and passions and giving them each a bit of attention. Often times the working world in our society pigeon-holes us into one field of study or expertise. An accountant can only be an accountant, but the thing is that accountant may love to paint or work on motorcycles – this type of categorizing people leads to a lot of discontent.

In that sense, thats the reason I started my own company along with my wife Delores so that we could embrace every field of study, or expertise that we wanted to do with passion and love and fun. I love photography, I love writing, I love talking to a crowd of people and inspiring – or I guess I should say empowering them – and I love all forms of media on computers from video to graphic design to you name it.

Because I embrace all of these loves that I have – I feel very content and excited to pursue such a wide range of fields, just like human nature may cause us to want to stray from topic to topic I can do the same thing with my own company and switch from something I love to something else I love to something else I love. How awesome is that?

But I have to say my first passion is writing, because it is my earliest memory that I can remember writing things, I would write stories and poems since I was very little. I remember reading a poem to one of my English classes in high school. I didn’t think much of it and I wrote it in about 2 min. but after I read the poem – the whole class was quiet and the teacher asked if I just wrote it – I said yes and a couple of students asked if I could write them a copy.


How did you get started in your career? 

About 10 years ago, I was a warehouse manager at a mail company. As much as I had respect for my job and did the best that I could to keep things in order, I was very unhappy. The funny thing is, I also wrote all of the business copy for the company including multimillion dollar contracts And Requests for Proposals -which the company was awarded.

I was trying to seek a book deal from several publishers with no success until one day we traveled to Washington DC and I ran into a publishing company that was interested in me. I began writing a book on Native American athletes and later on Native American men of courage – another author wrote women of courage. That progressed into seeking work from newspapers. I was doing all of this at the same time I was working as a warehouse manager. One day my wife Delores looked at me and said I needed to quit in order to pursue my dream full-time.

I owe everything to my wife who had faith in me – looking back it’s hard to believe the success I have obtained but none of this would have happened – if Delores hadn’t been part of my life.


What inspires you?

I am inspired by possibility. We have been put here on this Earth to achieve whatever we can accomplish. We are given any tool to work with any situation if we just desire it. In every sense of the word, if we desire we can accomplish anything, there are no limits in what we can achieve – we can create a beautiful family with a lot of children or we can build the international space station.


How do you approach the work you do today?

With an open heart and open mind and a willingness to accept change at any moment. I’ll use my work as a photographer as an example. I cannot tell you how many times people tell me that they take terrible photographs, instead of getting upset I treat them like a human being and have a conversation and find out what interests them – in the midst of our conversation anyone can find something that is important or passionate to talk about – it is during these moments I’ll press the shutter and capture them for who they are.

It is at these moments I decide to go with the flow and embrace what I have as opposed to forcing something that doesn’t exist.

A smile also helps.


How do you see the media landscape changing in the years to come?

I think things are going to become increasingly interactive. There will also continue to be a massive upsurge in appealing to specific demographics. For example, television commercials might change depending upon your personal interests or websites you visited.

If you check out the price of orange juice online, you just might see commercials on your next TV show. And don’t be surprised if this becomes the United States of Google. Just like that old media advocate that was way before his time, Marshall McLuhan, “media is the message.”


Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years?

I look to continue my embrace of media in order to ride this growing tidal wave of consumer needs. As we speak, entire industries that were never before associated with media in any way are now jumping on a massive bandwagon. Even toilet paper companies have a huge social media presence. Considering we are a media company, business is never going to slow down.


What is your latest project you are working on?

Yikes, the question is what we are not working on. I will say the largest project on my radar right now is a documentary we will be creating on Native American sacred sites. We are working very closely with the multi award winning Native American music artist Michael Bucher. We have some very interested parties in supporting us and we are actively in the fund-securing stage and pre-production research and development.

Of course, as always I am working constantly as a photojournalist for Indian Country Today Media Network – a freelance position I love almost more than anything.

But, as I said – I love working on a lot of things and I am having a great time putting together a very sarcastic series of videos on YouTube. Inasmuch as I may be a serious business person with a lot of drive, I am also a complete comedian and make some pretty willingly ridiculous videos. The videos really are a fun release for the part of me that is not serious at all. They really give me a lot of joy.

Listen to a radio interview with Vincent Schilling on Empowering Radio


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