Dylan Nunn is a purpose-driven millennial with a love for hospitality and a passion for environmental preservation.
He is the founder of Mettā Creative, a community and events hub.
Mettā Creative’s mission is to inspire purpose-driven millennials to act and live more sustainably through social-impact nightlife and #PartyWithPurpose.
Dylan has the unique skillset and network roladex to curate
Both of Dylan’s parents are well traveled Cultural Anthropologists, that have helped him develop a keen sense for social facilitation, most likely influenced by his eclectic childhood.
His experience in the events industry comes from working as a banquet server and bartender for notable events like Presidential Inaugurations, international summits, and exclusive private dinners.
Partying just like any other college student, he felt generally powerless and socially unfulfilled after leaving college.
After recognizing how empty the typical nightlife is around most campuses, he understood the need to create a social change among the largest generation in America: millennials.
I had the pleasure of spending time with Dylan for his Future Sharks interview because he is leaving normal behind, becoming the best version of himself, and creating things that matter.
Here we go …
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Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya until the age of six when my family and I moved to the Washington D.C., area where I currently reside at the Fern Place, a social-incubator, Mettā Hub and AirBnB verified “Super Host” location also know as…my house.
What are some of your hobbies?
Staying active, present and appreciating the opportunities I have.
In particular, swimming and running are some of my favorite hobbies – they really help me clear my mind and help me feel free and limitless to movement and capability.
Other hobbies of mine include cooking, live music, and just getting connected with the community as much as possible.
My hobbies often relate to outdoor activities because we spend time and energy educating our market on how important nature is that it only amplifies our appreciation of it.
What is your favorite quote?
I’m not sure who I heard this from but something I’ve always re-visited being involved in the service industry: “You never know who’s going to walk through the door.”
Especially in the events industry – if you’re in the right place at the right time you can frequently find an opportunity to improve your current situation by creating authentic connections with the people you encounter.
And the way best way to increase your chances is seeking out more opportunities and gatherings, so that sooner or later you will meet someone who may very well change your life.
And all you have to do is just show up!
To give you some context: I’ve been lucky enough to have met among others: George Clooney, Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, and President Obama and his family.
I received all of this opportunities through networking and bartending.
These experiences profoundly influenced my way of thinking about community gatherings, in which we have the opportunity to support the development of all our own personal journeys, and those of others.
What are you working on?
Society is changing rapidly and our technology is advancing exponentially.
We can connect with friends internationally, eat the planets most exotic foods domestically for the first time ever, and perform hand-held research on virtually any topic within seconds.
Yet in the midst of our advancements, Earth is under great stress from humans everyday habits of high-consumption AND low-awareness.
Giving back is not easily accessible to all young people, and may seem like a waste of time because they think it’s too late or their voice does not matter.
So what I’m focused on now is facilitating connections between existing community groups and forward-thinking organizations, by curating experiences that benefit the human condition, the environment, and the community.
I do this through Metta Creative:
Metta Creative (www.mettacreative.world) is a benefit organization that brings together a network of purpose-driven Millennial’s and forward thinking companies working together through nightlife events to inspire other Millennial’s (and anyone!) to act and live more sustainable.
We encourage party-goers to #PartyWithPurpose.
Anyone can throw a party for the environment, so that’s not really the point.
The carefully curated experiences we create are the comfortable and artistic meeting grounds for forward thinking folks to come together, have a good time, and get connected.
Metta Creative is becoming the glue, the collective, the creative network, that will connect individuals and organizations that share our core values of balance, creativity and environmental preservation.
How did you come up with this idea?
After college a group of us felt very unfulfilled with the typical nightlife scene; after a night of drinking and partying we would wake up the next morning feeling socially/globally unfulfilled.
So we asked ourselves – why?
When we started dissecting the reasons people go out, we discovered the key missing element.
That element was a greater purpose – specifically it was bringing more attention to the “blue-light pandemic” that’s affecting the nation.
The blue-colored screens of social media TOOLS that have led us, knowingly or not, into further separation from our friends and family, allowing all of us, really, to potentially get trapped inside of our own heads, in our own rooms.
We become transfixed to our screens that we lose touch with each other.
We become… disconnected.
We’re finding that many Millennials – especially in this tense political climate – are having difficulty trusting in traditional nonprofits and social organizations.
We’ve found that many who give money to these humanitarian causes are questioning the legitimacy of where the money goes.
Millennial’s need more transparent mediums to prove that their time, money, and attention are contributing to a larger collective benefit.
How is your company different?
Unlike many other nightlife-activities popular out in the market, Mettā Creative experiences enrich the minds of those who attend, leaving them feeling fulfilled, connected and part of something more important.
Mettā Creative fosters the connection, and facilitates the support of a purpose-driven, environmentally-conscious community by curating artistic, fulfilling, and interactive events open to the public, that encourage freedom of expression and the promotion of personal ventures and projects that align with our shared mission and core-values.
Mettā Creative works to solve the social issue of fading human interaction while sparking an interest in environmental preservation in a fun and interactive way.
During each event experience, we make a conscious efforts to create awareness of our footprint.
For example, we partner with companies like Naeco to serve our attendees with plant-based, disposable cups and plates.
My work in the service industry has introduced me to the fact that so many people are not even aware that these ecologically sound products exist.
This past year we threw events benefiting environmentally-focused organizations in Washington DC, New York City, Boston, and internationally in Melbourne Australia and San Pedro, Belize.
And we’re looking for more connections with anyone who understands this mission and is willing to help.
What’s your dream with your company?
Success looks like an inter-global, self-sustaining network/platform for collaboration, acceleration, creation, and entertainment based on our core values of balance, creativity and environmental responsibility.
We want to see the same kind of joy expressed by party-goers in the days after an experience, being shared daily on a global scale – to create the largest social-impact possible.
By connecting individuals and organizations that are already thinking about sustainable solutions to our world’s problems, everyone begins to feel more empowered and connected in their own communities.
Through social-impact nightlife, we aim to inspire and cultivate the next generation of Nikola Teslas, Elon Musks, and the Satoshi Nakamotos, from the largest generation on Earth: Millennials.
Eventually we would love to work with governments and cities to improve the lives of their residents, their relationships with their communities and the local tourism economy.
We see our contribution to the area building a stronger community towards more sustainable thinking, which is a major topic of discussion between young adults these days.
If we can bring in a diversity of opinions towards a common purpose of acting and living more sustainably we can work together with more creative individuals to develop actionable initiatives through events and gatherings of conscious intention.
What makes you special?
The core innovation and value proposition that sets our venture apart is the platform/network of purpose-driven Millennial’s that Mettā fosters.
Coupled with our consistently unique, fulfilling nightlife experiences that connect attendees with environmentally-conscious organizations.
We are value-driven and cost-driven: we source sustainably and still add immense value to the customer’s experience with repurposed art materials for each event for attendees to collaborate with.
This costs very little, but is significant because of it’s intentional purpose.
Mettā Creative is a medium through which creative, conscious impact flows. In order to keep taking steps in the right direction, we have to be able to continue to educate.
Rediscovering the knowledge of a powerful…holistic life…allows us to discover a more conscious way of living that will enrich our bodies and minds, all the while sustaining the natural world around us.
How do you creatively advertise?
Our energy is contagious!
When we get excited about something it catches on.
Once people come to an event, they always come back to the next event.
And they bring their friends!
And that is the most important, best form of advertising we do.
Apart from people looking forward to go to the next Mettā Event, we have the ability to effectively influence our peers to start moving in a more mindful directions using all the social media platforms.
Apart from word-of-mouth and social media approaches, we spend a lot of time directly contacting organizations, clubs and communities, because those leaders have the ability to influence their hubs of intellectuals, movers and shakers, thinkers, etc.. that, once they are on board, we have successfully connected another ‘node’ in the Mettā Creative web, and we intentionally track those relationships with software that allows us to facilitate these connections with care.
What’s one thing our readers can do today to get more involved with the sustainability trend?
Start asking more questions that produce thought provoking answers
- How are my clothes being made?
- What happens to food waste when it’s not composted correctly?
- Do I really need to buy that new? Or can I find a way to be more resourceful get what I need elsewhere?
- How can I participate in impact travel when I visit new places?
- How can I show those around me that my little purposeful actions are contagious?
What were your biggest failure and biggest success? What did you learn from them?
Well the biggest failure that stands out was getting banned from college 5 days before graduating for running an edible marijuana bakery.
The disappointment I caused my family and the feeling of losing what you put a lot of time and energy into is still hard to to get over.
I want young business minds to learn that college teaches you the rules, but college doesn’t teach you how to bend the rules.
However, the rules are there for a reason and if you’re not honest with yourself and your family, your ego will block the warning signs that life is trying to tell you.
Ego and pride are dangerous attitudes that hinder presence and cloud decision making.
I realize I was incredibly lucky that my parents were able to pay for a good lawyer to defend my actions.
There are people in jail today for the same crimes I committed. I know that: The system is not fair.
We all need to work together to get those people out of jail and with the right mentors.
I now have a responsibility to mentor and advise anyone else who’s been prosecuted for a drug related offense.
If you’re reading this and need some advice on getting back up and finding your purpose, please feel free to send me a note through my personal website (dylannunn.com).
I always to have time for others that need advice and guidance in this matter.
Through this experience I was able to step back and see the bigger picture, moving forward with the same entrepreneurial mindset and skills, now just applied – and this is very important – in a conscious direction.
This passage from Ryan Holiday’s “Ego Is The Enemy” really sums it up: “Here we are experiencing the trials endemic to any journey.
Perhaps we’ve failed, perhaps our goal turned out to be harder to achieve than anticipated.
No one is permanently successful, and not everyone finds success on the first attempt.
We all deal with setbacks along the way.
Ego not only leaves us unprepared for the circumstances, it often contributed to their occurrence in the first place.
The way through, the way to rise again, requires a reorientation and increased self-awareness.
We don’t need pity- our own or anyone else’s- we need purpose, poise, and patience “\
One of my happiest successes last year was realizing that we are all capable of bringing people together for a purpose.
That you can make a difference even in a community that your visiting just for a couple days.
Specifically, when I was In San Pedro, Belize, influencing diverse travelers and communities to raise money for Marine life, felt really natural and urgent.
By just bringing people together we mobilized the community to help clean up the beach, talk about conservation and accomplished a successful fundraiser all in the span of 3 days.
This helped me actualize the process of building the Metta mission into a workable model that incentive’s others to organize similar events in their local communities, and all over the world!
What is the best entrepreneurship advice you can share with our readers?
“Ask and you shall receive!” It’s quite simple. Clearly define your true desires in a vivid, actionable way, then write down the steps needed to get there…and then start moving!!
What is your morning routine?
Morning routines have been something that I’ve been really focusing on lately.
- Put phone on airplane mode across the room next to a full cup of water.
- When the alarm goes off, quickly get out of bed, and hit the snooze button, then have 10 minutes to do exercises that let my body naturally start to move around and get the blood flowing.
- At the second alarm, drink that cup of water, make my bed and open the blinds to let as much light flow into my room as possible (light helps wake us up!) .
- Next it’s time to 5 minute journal, inspired by Tim Ferris , this is the time to start the day with some gratitude, and something already checked off my to do list 🙂
- Lastly, take your phone off airplane mode when your ready to respond to who’s asking for your attention.
What’s something new you’ve learned in the past month?
Food waste is an immoral problem!
In the United States, we throw away 40% of the food we produce, and the food not composted causes immense amount of methane in landfills, which is more of an ozone killer than CO2.
What do you think you do better than most people?
I am fortunate enough to be in tune with myself and my surroundings, sensing emotional shifts in a room of people, but I’m also very good at using my enthusiastic, go-getter attitude to connect and help inspire and educate those around me.
What is the most practical and actionable framework you can share for other Future Sharks to use in their daily life?
Live with intention.
Save some time in your day that’s just for you.
You deserve it.
We can’t serve others (or run a business well) without taking some time to treat and take care of ourselves and our personal needs.
What should an entrepreneur focus on?
The best advice that I give ( but have the hardest time actually following through with), is to focus on one thing at a time, and do it well.
It can be stressful managing how much time you allocate to each endeavor, but if we give each task our full attention, it becomes more valuable.
Use twenty five minute time blocks to compete with yourself and measure how much you can get done.
What holds most entrepreneurs back and how can they get through it?
Entrepreneurs often get attached to an idea or concept and spend eternity seeking to fulfill that initial vision.
If we can remember to stay true to finding the solution, we remember how crucial it is for continuous customer discovery and through testing, measuring and testing again how to solve the problem.
All of this, of course, has to be done with true grit, a desire to achieve, and the willingness to shift and pivot as necessary.
Most importantly, to “Eat That Frog” (by Brian Tracy) to find the most important, hardest, scariest, most difficult thing that we want to do, and take the first step.
That could be briefly skimming the assignment, or putting on your old tennis shoes and taking a light stroll in the park.
What are some of the best books you’ve ever read?
- “How Soon Is Now” -Daniel Pinchbeck. We have unleashed a mega-crisis threatening the future of life on Earth. The actions we take over the next decade are critical. They will determine the destiny of our descendants and the fate of our world.
- “Expert Secrets” ; Brunson’s ability to explain in the simplest of ways the how, what and why of influence marketing, and the importance of storytelling. (The guy literally ships a free book out to you all you have to do is pay for shipping because he knows you’ll end up buying in to his vision later on down the road).
Where do you see yourself and your product in a couple years?
I see myself still very involved with Metta Creative, as it is near and dear to my heart.
I see Metta being able to inspire people all over the world to live sustainably and feel empowered to belong in their own communities and create positive change.
I see us developing strong international relationships with socially-responsible, environmentally-conscious organizations & international Metta venues, while organizing and supporting impactful organizations and environmental projects all over the world.
What do the words ‘Leave Normal Behind’ mean to you?
Almost everyone feels instant gratification from spontaneously donating to a cause, but rarely a sense of purpose.
Unfortunately, ‘normal’ in our society is conforming to a lifestyle influenced by greed, fueled by a sense of insecurity.
Purpose is something our generation very actively seeks.
We’ve found that the most valued aspects of life are community relationships, physical health and mental clarity.
With each event we host, we see more and more how desperately people want this service and crave an opportunity to collaborate proactively with the community in a fun way.
So leaving normal behind is tapping into community relationships to support physical health and mental clarity of those we encounter, and make a conscious effort doing so.
What are your social accounts and website for us to follow?
You can visit our website here:
Also, all of our social accounts are : @MettaMakers
Check out this Metta event !
Classic Metta event https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gw4mlY-XzAM
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Dylan is an inspiring millennial entrepreneur who has bridged the worlds of entertainment, purpose, and sustainability.
Live your life with intention and go after what you want.
If you or anyone you know is leaving normal behind and deserves to be interviewed by me then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org