Steven Rojas has never missed a day of work or school in his life. He also happens to go out pretty much every night. That means that he gets a few hours of sleep (sometimes just one), goes running (religiously), then heads to the office.
We talked to him about the cost/benefit analysis of ditching sleep, leaving law for social media and the kinds of conversations he has with women when he’s wearing a suit vs. a motorcycle jacket.
What do you do?
“My official title is corporate digital director at the Morgans Hotel Group. Basically, I make sure that the blog, culture site, website, newsletters, social media content and email campaigns reflect the brand that Morgans is. There are 14 properties, and each has its own channels and voice, because what you do in NY doesn’t work in LA.”
What do people think you do for work?
“I think most of my friends just think I tweet for a living.”
What do you like about work?
“It’s a choose-your-own-adventure novel. I started by majoring in law, minoring in criminal psych, studying hard. And I guess I woke up one day and realized it was more my dad’s vision than mine, and I thought, ‘I want to do my own thing,’ and at that point my work became my own.
“I’ve never looked at work like work. I like doing what I’m doing. I get to work with creative people, I get to travel.”
What’s the reward?
“Finding creative solutions to problems. I mean, isn’t that the point of life?”
Where do you get your ideas?
“In a little bit of everything. Whether you’re at a party late at night, or out with your friends, or sitting in on a meeting, it’s about little bits of information that the world gives you, and picking the ones that are going to guide you or inspire you. I sat in a meeting today about revenue, and I’m not a numbers guy, but it made me think differently about a few things.”
What’s your work uniform
“Despite my crazy ways, I love a good suit. Every man should have a closet full of them. That’s not to say there isn’t something about about other kinds of clothes. I have a black denim motorcycle jacket that I love wearing.
“But when you’re in a well tailored suit, you’re the man. You’re in charge. People immediately respond to you differently. You can take over the world.”
What happens when you wear a suit, outside of work?
“When I go out partying, and I wear a suit, there will be very specific kinds of women who talk to me. And they’ll be different from the ones who talk to me when I’m wearing a motorcycle jacket. I end up having more intellectual conversations in the suit, and maybe more adventurous ones in the motorcycle jacket.”
What inspires you to burn the candle at both ends for so long?
“We’re on this stupid little piece of land called Earth for such a limited time. Why not get the most out of it while we’re here?
“NY is made of people who are such extremists. They’re either party animals who have no sense of work or direction. Or hard core workers who have no social aptitude. I guess I’m extremist in both ways. I don’t know how long I can keep doing it, but I want to keep doing it for as long as I can.
“That’s just what my life is. And then I find peace in running.”
Why do you run?
“It’s one of the only things that separates us from the animals.”
What’s a good piece of advice you got?
“My father told me, ‘Son, if by the age of 20 you, haven’t rebelled, you have no heart. And if by the age of 30 you haven’t conformed, you have no brain.’ I’m 33, and I have to say I agree. I mean, at some point, everyone’s gotta grow up.”