Shawn O’Neill

I recently had an opportunity to speak with millennial model and fighter Shawn O’Neill.

By: Joshua Conner

Shawn O’Neill is a bartender, model, and fighter with Cooper MMA. O’Neill was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, but he is based in Austin, Texas. O’Neill inspires me personally and professionally. Personally, I am inspired by how O’Neill’s dedication to the craft of his martial arts, as well as his style and physique. Professionally, I am inspired by how O’Neill has branded himself and his work ethics.

What would be the title of O’Neill’s life story and who would play him in a movie?

“The title of my life story, you know I haven’t even thought about that one. I’m going to have to go with what I’m known by, like how I use my Instagram name that would be SMO, which are my initials for Shawn Michael O’Neill, so it would be SMO life. Who would play me? I would have to say, Matt Damon. I think Matt Damon, he always puts himself in some tricky situation, and I’m always putting myself in some tricky situations, but I always end up coming out and winning at the end, because I don’t quit,” said O’Neill.

O’Neill’s most memorable year would be 2015 because he started taking jiu-jitsu lessons, and that really helped set him in the modeling world.

“I would probably have to say my second year out of high school, I think I was like 20. I made some friends, that asked me would I like to come and start taking jiu-jitsu lessons, where I started doing my MMA at. Ever since then, it’s kind of taking off, and it’s brought me a lot of great opportunities. It brought me into modeling, because it put me into splendid shape, and helped me get my career started to where I am today. So, I have to say that when I look back on some days, just because I started in my garage doing jiu-jitsu. So, I guess that was 2015,” said O’Neill.

The greatest lesson that MMA has taught O’Neill, is discipline.

“Discipline, MMA and mixed martial arts have taught me the biggest thing in life is discipline. If you get too eager, aggressive, or too nice, people tend to take advantage of that. With that being said, if you learn discipline, and you learn control, then you are always going to be in the correct mindset, where you don’t let anything get out of hand or out of control,” said O’Neill.

If O’Neill’s mantra was a hashtag, it would be #blessed.

“I don’t know, if you could put a life motto into a hashtag, I could say that one would be blessed, to be honest. I would have to say being so young, I have dealt with different trials and tribulations. When I was younger, I actually ended up almost dying, and I had someone save my life. So, I respect it as sort of a blessing. I have a lot of friends and family around me, that shows me a lot of love, support and help me out. You count your small blessings in life, not everything has to be glitz, glamorous and diamonds,” said O’Neill.

What is O’Neill’s underwear preferences?

“I would probably have to say boxer briefs, but I actually wear the athletic brand of underwear. So it’s called Spyders. They are some of the most comfortable fit that I have had or the Adidas ones that I have,” said O’Neill.

If O’Neill could model for any national brand, it would be Calvin Klein.

“Any brand, I would probably have to say, Zara or Calvin Klein. I know those are probably really basic answers, but I would choose Calvin Klein if I had to pick my number one choice. I wear a lot of their clothes, I like the way they fit and they have good materials,” said O’Neill.

What does O’Neill enjoy most about being a bartender?

“What I enjoy most about being a bartender, is probably the people I meet. You know, I go to work each day, but my job is never the same. I may deal with the same job duties, but the people that I meet, and the conversations that I have with people, I mean I’ve made friends that I have known, and I’ve made friends that I have had for a lifetime because that’s the job that I do. Even though I am making drinks for people, it’s just a connection that I can make, I think that’s the most enjoyable part,” said O’Neill.

You can follow Shawn O’Neill on Instagram @smo_life.

If Shawn O’Neill could have a conversation with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why? You can find out by following me on Facebook and Instagram @MrJoshuaConner

Nathan Hainline

I recently had an opportunity to speak with handsome and charming Nathan Hainline.

By: Joshua Conner

Nathan Hainline is a health insurance agent at US Health Advisors, book cover model, and freelance photographer from in Wichita Falls, Texas. Hainline inspires me professionally and personally. Hainline’s inspires me professionally because of his work ethics, and entrepreneurial spirit. Hainline inspires me personally because of how he has served in the military for our country, physique, photography, charisma, and how he has been on the cover of several of my favorite Daryl Banner books, including the upcoming Garret’s Game.

What would be the title of Hainline’s life story and who would play him in a movie?

“Throwing some tough ones, at me, huh, drawing a blank here. I’m trying to write a book, and I’m going to have to think of a title for that book. Titles are the hardest part when I think about writing books or movies. I would always choose the title last, and have the story determine the title instead of the title determine the story.  So, I guess Against the Odds, is what I would put as the title of my movie. I’m still not a success story, where you would write the movie on. I’m in the part where the main person in the story is failing and trying to climb his way out of the gutter. So, the story is still being written, hopefully, it has a happy ending.

Without sounding too arrogant, I would say Tom Cruise, would play me in a movie. The only reason I choose Tom Cruise is that he is short. I don’t know if you know, I’m 5’6. I’m not very tall, and I weigh about 150 pounds. So, you wouldn’t be able to tell from the pictures. When people talk about being a model, I consider myself more of an artist, as opposed to being a model, because I’m a photographer, I create all of my own images,” said Hainline.

Hainline’s most memorable year was 2014 because it was when he moved back to his hometown.

“That’s a tough one, I try not to, I’m one of those people who doesn’t really think about what has already happened, at this point, it’s always the years to come. So, it’s always the year that I’m in is always the most memorable. I guess it can be the year, that I’m in is always the most memorable. I guess it can be the year that I moved here, which was back in 2014. I packed up, and just left Minnesota, for no apparent reason, and moved back to where I was from.
So my parents split up where I was from. My mom’s side is up north,  my dad’s side is down south, here in Texas. So, I was a mail carrier, up in Minnesota, with all the snow. Snow, up to the waist, sometimes. Rain, sleet, or snow, you still have to go for the mail, so give your mailroom a high five next time. That’s hard work, I just didn’t want to do that, and I didn’t like the direction my life was going, nothing was happening there. So, if I’m going to make a change for the positive, I just haven’t done. I enroll in college here, and got a business degree, in marketing. I meet a girl of course, so that’s the reason I stayed here. The year,  that I made biggest life changes would be 2014,” said Hainline.

If Hainline’s mantra was a hashtag, it would be #failforward.

“My hashtag would be #failforward. Yeah, fail forward, because that’s all I have done really over the course of the trials, and a lot of people will stop after trials. A lot of people will stop after so many fails, and you only I guess failure only comes from you stop trying so. I mean, I am going to keep failing forward, and I take my fails as a lesson learned. Your one fail closer to success,” said Hainline.

What is the story behind Hainline’s first tattoo?

“I can’t show you right now, but you can probably see from some of my pictures that I have a crown with my initials. It’s really not a meaning behind it, it’s just I got it when I was in basic training in the military and we were on leave,  it’s just the thing to do. I wanted to get a tattoo and be a badass. The only thing I could think of was, getting a crown, and just because I saw a picture on Pinterest, that looked cool and my initials.
Originally, I wanted to get it across my back, live every other guy, but then I realized that it looked kind of lame, because it looked like a jersey. Someone talked me out of that so that I was like that, I will just get something subtle with my name on it,” said Hainline.

“We offer selfless service and advice,” said Hainline about how he would describe US Health Advisors.

What do you enjoy most about being a photographer?

“Being able to create something that is not visible to the eye. When someone looks at a picture, and you saw what it looks like before like if you took a picture with a cellphone and a camera, it would be completely different things you would see. I enjoy being able to create something out of nothing,” said Hainline.

How did Hainline get involved in the book cover model industry?

“Well, I was bodybuilding at the time, but I was also an amateur photographer, doing photography for people on the side. I took a picture of myself a couple days before the show, and it was with really dark lighting on sunset. I was trying to get sponsored by a supplement company, so my post was getting shared a lot, and I was asking people to share my posts. Randomly, an author came across my post, with that picture,  and direct messaged me and said, I loved your picture and I would love to use it on on one of my books.
At the time, I was like, that’s not a real thing, that’s Fabio, that’s people from Hollywood, why would they want to use me. You can use it for free.
So the first book, I was ever on, I gave the image for free, just because I didn’t really believe it was going to be on a book. I just didn’t think it was going to be an opportunity. It ended up being legit, they used it on a book, and the book was published, they shared that. Authors were asking who’s that guy, I was tagged obviously. So other authors were asking what photographer I used, can I get some pictures of you. Actually, I’m my own photographer, so the rest is history. It made it really convenient that I was my own photographer,” said Hainline.

Extra content: I asked Nathan Hainline the age-old guy question and if he could have a conversation with anyone who would it be. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @MrJoshuaConner to find out. 

You can follow Nathan Hainline on Instagram @nate_hainline and Facebook @nate.model also check out his website https://nathanhainline.com