We had the good fortune of connecting with David Hopkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi David, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk. It’s something we calculate everyday, sometimes regularly and occasionally even when we don’t realize it. For me, I generally start with looking at how a given situation, or choice I need to make affects my trajectory. Meaning, how does that choice or situation affect me being able to reach my goals. Once I can understand whether or not I’m on the correct path, calculating the risks involved become much easier to some degree. Sometimes it may be something obvious or tangible i.e. risk of injury or pain – maybe the question is whether or not to start on a new fitness plan you’ve been thinking about, but you have mitigating health factors. Or maybe it’s more hidden from view, as can happen often with business decisions or life decisions (risk of losing customers or followers due to a change of creative direction). With building a brand / making content in the DIY and Construction space the risk a lot of times is losing credibility within my community. There are always going to be opportunities that do not align with your core beliefs or your goals, and you have to be mindful and stay vigilant in your pursuit. Risk will also weigh heavy when deciding on which opportunities to take on i.e. offering your services to one client may severely reduce your ability to make other content, which in turn could lose you followers or future brand deals. It can be easy to get locked into a state of indecision, which in this fast-paced world of content creation has a huge risk of causing damage to your brand. I focus on being authentic, and delivering my videos in a way that truly brings people along for the ride. You’ll see me make mistakes and correct them. You’ll see my victories and finished products. Mostly you’ll see the journey along the way. ‘Risk Taking’ really just becomes a part of your day-to-day, saying ‘yes or no’ to opportunities, how to divide up your time over creative tasks, primary work (if being a creative maker is your side hustle like me), and family / friend time. Calculating risk for me boils down to the ‘feeling’, and we all have it – the ability to listen to our ‘gut’. I feel like what has helped me to be successful in the face of avoiding risks, is that I stay flexible and ready to pivot as needed, and focus on keeping my trajectory facing towards my goals. In that manner, I can adjust as needed to avoid negative consequences, and by staying locked in on my goals I can keep moving forward. Lastly, if you aren’t putting yourself in difficult situations, with difficult and risky decisions to make, you probably aren’t moving forward – you may be standing still.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am currently VP of Construction with Welker Properties out of Dallas, TX. My full journey in construction trades and management has been a long one, spanning back 20 years. I started off working on crews with Father’s construction company in Indiana and today I lead construction efforts for our private development firm here in Texas. Through the years I’ve spent time wiring houses, in structural concrete repairs, in storm damage restorations (Hurricanes and Hail), built and led construction sales and estimating teams, working in residential – commercial – multifamily builds, and spent years building systems to help grow and refine construction processes. My number one goal is to always be learning. The construction industry is a constantly evolving and ever-changing industry, and the only way to be successful is to be flexible and be able to pivot when needed. To be honest, it’s wild to look back and see all I’ve been able to accomplish so far. What makes it even sweeter, is that I feel like I’m only just getting started.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Dallas is a very diverse city, and if you expand that to all of DFW (Dallas / Fort Worth) there is pretty much an endless list of things to do. Of course, with Covid-19 currently well underway, there has been some notable changes to daily life, but exploring parks / trails / lakes / rivers etc – there’s still tons to do in North Texas.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Of course without the support of my family and friends, I’d be completely lost so full gratitude to my wife Aja, my children Indy and Memphis, and all my friends who have supported my journey. To offer something additional here, the person who had undoubtedly the most creative influence on my life was my high school art teacher, Richard Spencer. High school was a tumultuous time in my life, as for many others, and he was my mentor when I needed it the most. He taught me to explore my creativity and my abilities in Art, and how to use them at a time I desperately needed a healthy outlet. Through the years, what he taught me has stuck, become a cornerstone of how I approach my creative process, and the confidence he helped me to gain has allowed me to get to where I am today.
Other: TikTok – @toughguystv
My photographer for these images was HPG Media, Justin Wegner @justinwegner on Instagram.