Four years ago, I began my time at University in the Faculty of Kinesiology — I was in love with fitness, human kinetics, healthy eating and was destined to be a surgeon.
That was until my first day of classes…
I sat there as the professor walked us through the history of the Olympic Games and I could feel my head wandering to another space.
The Olympics are one of my favourite things on the planet and I cannot deny that I watch them religiously…
BUT I couldn’t see the connection to this lesson and MY destiny: Medicine.
So, as the story goes, about two weeks later I began emailing EVERY SINGLE TECHNOLOGY COMPANY in Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary. I took some time to research each companies product and mission and then I spit my entire life story out onto a personalized email.
I sent the first five emails and about twenty minutes later responses started to fly back…
It kind of hit me at the point… I had never done anything like this before and I really didn’t know what to say next! What should I do next? How quickly should I return their response? I was afraid that if I told them anymore about my background that it would ruin my chances…
I was a student who had just entered his first semester of college
And already I was faced with a situation that some people 5-10 years deep in their career hadn’t faced. I was talking to senior business executives and trying to craft a strategy that fit into their hiring needs for the future? Why would they want to hire me? What value could I add to their organization?
It was cool that they got back… and it made for a great story to tell my friends at the campus bar, but I was pretty sure it wouldn’t pan out.
They would go for the engineering student, the kid with a connection through their parents, or the business student with the ‘background’ built for the job, or maybe even just the applicant from that city.
Now, what do I want you to learn from this post?
I want you to learn that this absolutely isn’t the case…. companies will go for the hustler, the person willing to put it all out there, the person who is willing to walk into uncharted territory and be their authentic self.
Once I had this breakthrough, I felt like the world was mine.
In the upcoming weeks I set up a call with a company called Ayogo, named 1 of the 100 most innovative companies working in the mobile and digital health sectors today, and later went on to land the position.
I had absolutely no idea what I was doing… But I knew exactly what my skills were — Graphic design, presentation development, social media strategy, and hustle!
I challenge you today to audit your skill-set
Make a list of all the things you are good at… and keep in mind they don’t have to fall into a LinkedIn ‘skills bucket’ … they can be anything, be honest with what you think you are YOU good at!
I made it my mission to challenge myself that summer…
I went to every possible startup networking event and met some amazing people — I participated in my first StartupWeekend that we won! and I went out of my way to tell tech leaders in Vancouver about a side-hustle that I was passionate about working on called JumpRope.
This summer, I learned to be vulnerable, I learned to market and brand myself from a person who was too inexperienced to a hustler that couldn’t stop taking in information.
Following my summer in Vancouver, I went on to use this mindset to land internships at the world’s most valuable startup, Uber, in analytics and most recently at HIRED in Silicon Valley, a company that is disrupting the ways companies hire and has raised $100M in financing from the some of the top investors in the world.
Heres a copy of the portfolio I sent Uber to tell my story!
In the last 4 years, I have reached out to some of the world’s leading companies like McKinsey & Co, Google, Uber, HIRED, Facebook and they have all given me the chance to tell my story! I made my mindset about being ME!
The future is YOU.
If you’re currently sitting in that history class struggling to see how it will fit into your future, dig deep, audit yourself, and find out what you truly love and are good at doing.
Reach out – don’t be afraid, but instead be YOU. You’ll be surprised how many will empathize with your story and get back to you!
Hustle is the antidote, fear is the disease.