Anthony D’Apolito III’s original plan was to attend West Point College on a sports scholarship and later join the army. However, when he was rejected and had the option to attend Drexel University on a ROTC scholarship, he was forced to change his plans. Anthony admits it was difficult at first, but he quickly turned his rejection into redirection and realized his passion for entrepreneurship, which led him to drop his scholarship and pursue his start-up, Dream BIG & Co.
“The scholarship got me in the door,” said Anthony. “I'm willing to put it aside because I don't enjoy it and I'm just going to go into what I enjoy with Dream Big and Co, with entrepreneurship, with something that I'm really purpose driven by instead of just, like, dragging along with army ROTC. Because if I was still doing that, I wouldn't put my best foot forward and I would actually be hurting many people because I wouldn't be a hundred percent there.”
In this episode of The Conversationalist Podcast, The Conversationalist Founder and CEO Sophie Beren sits down with Anthony D'Apolito III, Head of Content at TruckBux and the Creator of Dream BIG & Co.—a media agency and company that creates personalized stories for people and brands to help them discover their story and share it with the world. Anthony is purpose-filled in continuing to evolve as an individual to the highest degree possible and in helping others through storytelling and personal development.
Anthony shares the secret to bouncing back after experiencing rejection from his dream school and how to transform the world through storytelling.
In proper TC fashion, we opened the conversation by breaking the ice with a series of rapid-fire questions from Sophie. Anthony shared his most controversial take—hot dogs are sandwiches, and that he eats two apples a day, the perfect amount to keep the doctor away. He also said he could talk hours on end about psychology and personal development.
When Anthony was in high school, rather than go to his local public school, he chose to attend a private school 40 minutes away. He explained his reasoning behind the decision was because he wanted a challenge. “I'm always trying to challenge myself and, like, push my potential,” said Anthony. “I knew I wanted to be there because at the end of the day, it would really push me to become a better individual and that is what my main value is. That's what my main life goal is, just to be the best version of myself possible.”
While the 40-minute drive was a lofty commitment to make each day, especially after a day of classes and football practice, Anthony used it to his advantage. Instead of listening to music and letting the time waste away, he listened to motivational podcasts on self-development to further his mission to become the best version of himself. He credits this habit for raising his self awareness and planting the seed for his drive to create change.
Anthony admits his college admissions process wasn’t the best. He applied to dozens of colleges, but was rejected from most. West Point College, his dream school, didn’t offer him a sports or academic scholarship, leaving him with Drexel University.
“It was like my safe school,” Anthony said. “I could have looked into more depth and really did a thorough analysis of, like, where I want to be. But it was like divine timing and actually kind of lucky that Drexel was in Philly, an unbelievable city for what I wanted to do with creative and entrepreneurship and some film stuff.”
He soon realized he didn’t want to go into the army post-college, so he decided to drop his scholarship and pursue his passion in helping others optimize their potential through Dream BIG & Co. “Once you have the right kind of perspective or framing, you can go about things correctly and with narrative, that's why Disney is so beautiful,” explained Anthony. “You have to be able to present yourself well, speak well, write well, whatever and tell a story well, especially your own, cause we're all selling our own story in a good way.”
Here at TC, we have a whole room in our community dedicated to Hot Takes, where members can share a controversial thought, question, or icebreaker about something that they believe in. This week’s hot take was brought to us by TC Community Member Jade Smith, who believes the Popeye’s chicken sandwich is better than the Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich.
Anthony was stumped and took a second to ponder over his answer. He argued that both are equally good, but he eventually disagreed with Jade, saying the Chick-Fil-A sandwich was a tad bit better because of the Chick-Fil-A sauce.
Anthony had two pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: be committed in your decision and seek understanding more than anything else.
“If you want to do one thing, set that aim, set out a plan on what you're going to do, but be agile in your approach to getting there,” said Anthony. “Have that be like your why. The how in which you get there, it's going to change. But if the why is strong, the how will be okay. It will be fine.”
Major snaps to Anthony for all of the inspiring work he is doing through Dream BIG & Co, and for sharing his experience of turning rejection into redirection. We are so grateful to have him in our community.
Now, we want to hear from you! How are you using your voice for good? Join The Conversationalist Community on the Geneva app. You’ll be able to make new friends, find new opportunities, and have 24/7 conversations about anything under the sun that matters to you. Come and introduce yourself, break the ice, share your hot takes, and more. Want to be chosen as our featured hot take on our next podcast? Make sure you’re in our community and sharing your thoughts in our hot takes room.