ALTON - Michael Gebben has a magnetic personality and is brimming with enthusiasm.

When he created Gebbs Total Video straight from graduating Marquette Catholic High School, Gebben took on every facet of videography. He said he jumped at every opportunity and attempted to give every customer a complete experience. His video production work and excessive attempts to contact his role models landed him gigs spanning the world - from motivational speaker Tony Robins's private events to Virgin CEO Richard Branson's private island.

But, Gebben said, living the life he had always wanted with people exuding both fame and fortune was exhausting. He said it was wonderful, but stressful, and emphasized how grateful he was for the experience and connections he made during an interview with Riverbender.com last Saturday at Germania Brewhaus.

"I traveled a lot in the last five years, but I have lived in Alton and called it home for all of my 31 years," Gebben said. "I learned soon that the famous life wasn't the best. So many people think more money or this job or that job will change everything, and it can, but that's not what you need to do to be happy"

To show people the drive inside of them, Gebben has created "Jumpstarters," which is a group dedicated to networking and inspiring the Dreamers, Doers, and Entrepreneurs. During the interview, Gebben talked fondly of people who came to him looking for inspiration and found themselves going from jobs or careers they hated to doing the jobs of their dreams.

One of the guys Gebben helped jumpstart was asked by Gebben "what would you do if you didn't need money?" He responded with "My dream would be to film boat poker runs". The year prior to working with Gebben he sent requests to poker runs, but he only sent requests to like five or six people. After working with Gebben and Gebben telling him about M.I.A. (Massive Imperfect Action) he sent out requests to over 200, he ended up with a video contract worth over $50,000 filming these races. This was more then he had ever generated in over 10 years. He now uses M.I.A. all the time, Gebben said. He recently used M.I.A. to get his family on an all-expenses-paid cruise now.

Those stories illustrate the root cause of Gebben's newest endeavor. Jumpstarters works to motivate people to do what they love - and do it successfully. Gebbens said he wanted people to be able to pursue their dreams and do what they love for their living. His pillar is "Massive. Imperfect. Action." He said too many people get caught in perfecting their dreams, they do not actually take action toward them.

Gebben has always been entrepreneurial he got a paper route at the age of 10, in high school had his own small candy-vending machines and even did video work for a local funeral home. When he graduated, many members of his family pressured him to continue his education, but Gebben wanted to work to create his video business - and he did, and it was successful.

To showcase his ability to highlight the innate abilities within everyone to give their dreams the shot they deserve, Gebben is hosting an event in Alton called "Jumpstart Your 2018."

The event will be FREE to attend and it will be held at WOW Furnishings and Event Center, located at 515 East Third Street in Alton, on Jan. 31 from 7-9 p.m.

The purpose of the event, according to its Facebook event page, is to connect dreamers, doers, and entrepreneurs who feel connected on the internet, but may be lacking in the face-to-face productivity department. On Saturday, Gebben told Riverbender.com people need to work together in person more, instead of relying on the internet.

When asked why Alton needed such an event, Gebben said his travels separated him from the goings-on of his own hometown. He said, like many Altonians, he was set in the same routine, but, once he branched from that routine, he saw people taking action in Alton and bringing it into a sort of revolution of both culture and commerce.

"People from the West Coast are moving to Alton, because our real estate is so cheap," Gebben said. "Here, you can get an amazing home for $300,000 or less, and out there a smaller place would be worth well over a million. And, if you're not from here, you lose that stigma people have of their hometowns. Alton has everything you would find in a major city, and it's a lot less expensive to have it here."

In the future, Gebben said he would like to use the connections he made as a traveling videographer to the rich and famous to bring people to Alton who would otherwise only be seen at high-paying speaking engagements. He said he would love to see all the people in Alton wishing they had the means to follow their dreams find those means through both the event on the 31st and potential future Jumpstarters events.

One can RSVP for the event at its Facebook page here.

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at cory@riverbender.com

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