MalcomGladwell – “It is not the brightest who succeed.Nor is success simply the sum of the decisions and efforts we make on our own behalf. It is, rather, a gift. Outliers are those who have been given opportunities — and who have had the strength and presence of mind to seize them.” At this age, I did what college students do.. I went to classes. Or skipped them. In this picture I had landed a “cool” reporter job covering Technology at my college university paper. That’s how I met Victor, a guy who was making the first metasearch engine in Brazil. I had no idea yet how search would be big but he was smart and enthusiastic. I said: I will work for you if you actually build a company. Yes, he did call me and I got my first job in a digital life. I was 20 years old and all my colleagues thought I was crazy. Well, history has proven I’m chosen the right path at that moment. That’s what I would like to talk about today. How to seize the opportunity when it appears to you? How to be ready for the opportunity and how to create them?
Love where you came from. Love your story. If there’s nothing to love about it, think again. Learn how to embrace your past and what you can with it. Cliché: we’re all unique. And are you using enough everything you learn from your family? Do you know the challenges your parents had? I am the first of my family to go to college. I have always been very proud of my poor family background in a small city and not ashamed to use it for my own career advancement. The more you know about your past and the more mindful you are about it, the more you can use this information positivelyto move far in your career.
There’s a lot going on in our lives. In college, I spent most of the time running through my internships to pay the rent. Ok, and drinking. Didn’t have enough time to read all the paper, do all the homework but I making sure I: a) learned a different language –and without that I wouldn’t be able to land a job at Yahoo! b) was keeping up with the industry – and without that I wouldn’t be able to identify that the Internet was going to be big, when my friends thought I was crazy for joining a tech startup. This is when start ups didn’t “exist” . Learned Scrum in the beginning, created microsites when they were hot. Had fun blogging when people actually cared. c) was reading the papers, books, talking to people. Because when the opportunity comes you won’t have time to get ready. The moment is NOW. And we don’t know what comes next. Open your eyes.
This is Will Green. He came from Ohio to New York to become an associate interactive designer at R/GA. Before taking this job, he had never created an wireframe. But he said yes. Today, he has worked with clients big retailers and credit card companies, building social media campaigns and products. When I’m working late and I need someone to do me a big favor, I go to Will Green and I know he will say yes. Or he will try. And because of that, I always have him in my plans. I’m looking out for him. And because Will has lots more of people looking out for him, he is seeing his future being very positive! Don’t know how to be positive? Start from a fantastic presentation from Jacques Krielen, EX-CEO at Nestle in the Nederlands. http://www.slideshare.net/krielenj/a-positive-attitude1-presentation
I’ve done many mistakes in my careers. Simple things like breaking the homepage of a portal, getting the wrong numbers at a PN&L. You screwed up? Admit it. Apologize. Move on. Be honest with others. Be honest with your yourself. Be accountable. Recognize when you messed up. People will remember that. IMAGE: I will mention my previous boss at R/GA, Managing Director Joe Jaffe, and how his honesty permeated our relationship.
Quotes from Naveen Selvadurai, one of the founders of Foursquare in his blog this week: you should “learn by doing” . that is, to pick a small project of some sort and to see it through to the finish. the smaller and easier, the better, as you’ll be able to realize a working product you can hold, appreciate and show your friends. it almost doesn’t matter what language or platform you pick, as long as you pick something that you can finish and that you dreamtup. In Technology, many people believe you should be able to code. I can’t code. WRITING has been my making. When I was working in product development I still wrote a blog (12 years ago), I started a cooking column testing recipes from famous cookbooks, I wrote three shopping guides –which made me know every single store in Orlando, Miami and New York. What have you been making?
Photo: Lalita and I at an Ironman in Cancun. She’s is responsible for my me landing a job at yahoo in miami and meeting people that got me an interview at R/GA in NY.We all heard about this before: create relationships. I’ve always been against “networking” for the negative connotations of the word. I hate people that never talks to you and than they send a super polite message that they are looking for new opportunities. Hahahahaha. Start by defining WHO is your current network, Who are the people who could help youWho are the people YOU could helpHow could you enhance your relationships? Build a relationship with people that matters to you. And you will matter to them. And when the time comes, he will be the network ever. Spend time with people, be generous, give back.
Being interesting seems like a basic goal. You are competing with everyone else. You can struggle if people are not paying attention to you. Be worth thinking about. How the hell do I become interesting?!Travel – can’t travel? Read, explore, talk to people around you. Share your stories, share their stories. Do one thing that scares you - Eleanor Roosevelt Be your own voice – look at the others with fresh eyesParticipate in a cause. Help. Care about something. For more, read Jessica Hagyexcelent article on Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessicahagy/2011/11/30/how-to-be-interesting/
I normally say: be liked or be the boss. But it’s very hard to please everyone, isn’t it? You don’t have to. What you have to do is to learn and appreciate collaboration. This has been a struggle for me because I do believe we are OVERUSING groups collaboration and not allowing for some solitude in the workplace. Vide Article by NYT. But, collaboration is a a reality. It happens within a project, within your company and with in my case, with other agencies. Are you the one that people want to work with or not? We live in the age of collaboration. How are you fitting in? don’t get me wrong. There will be times where you will shine because hopped off the bandwagon and didn’t collaborate. But these are the exceptions. Collaborate: The act of working with another or others on a joint project. OpinionThe Rise of the New GroupthinkBy SUSAN CAINPublished: January 13, 2012 Research strongly suggests that people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and freedom from interruption
What Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and >> had in common besides being billionaires? They did put the hours in. You can say the same about Zukherberg, Daniel Ek (founder of Spotify) or the best baker in your neighborhood. You only get to the on top list of someone if you make the effort, if you work hard or –maybe, if you were born fast. Not my case.