Providing a catalyst
Every week I’ll share key insights from a conversation I had learned a lot from in a series called, Providing a Catalyst.
This past weekend I got the opportunity to spend time with and speak alongside some incredible people.
Each one of them taught me something about their craft. They were, for the most part, below the age of 25. Most were influencers or marketers on the different social media channels.
We didn’t share much in common but there are a few things that we really did.
We’ve been told NO! our entire lives. No to do the things we wanted to because we were too young or had to focus on ‘school’ instead.
Despite not ever having met in person, all of us shared this natural connection. It felt as if we had known each other our entire lives. This was an odd feeling for someone who never really ‘fit-in.’
We spent 2 days living in an airBnB in Bellevue, Washington. We learned about each other’s stories and shared moments that we’ll never forget.
You’re probably wondering how this chance encounter occurred?
In early June when I was visiting Seattle for the first time Leann, a friend I made in SF who’s from Michigan, connected me to Richard Kim.
Richard and I hit it off within 5 minutes of meeting each other. At the end of our meeting, he asked me to speak at this conference he was organizing at the end of the month.
This conference was the start of his passion project, the Gen Z foundation. He’s creating a platform for humanitarian organizations to use the power of influencers in Gen Z to bring awareness and help in fundraising efforts.
I couldn’t help but support his cause. At first, when he asked me to speak, I said no, not thinking I had anything to say.
After giving it some more thought, I said yes. I didn’t feel comfortable. Richard had asked me to give a talk about Voice.
Despite having worked at VaynerMedia for 3 months last summer, I still didn’t feel comfortable talking about a topic that I wasn’t an ‘expert’ in.
Meeting and speaking with the group gave me comfort. The feeling of ‘not having experience’ is something we all know too well.
It’s something we’ve had to deal with our entire lives. There’s a lesson here that I learned: I’ll never have enough experience to do something.
After having a few hearts to heart conversations with some of the members in the group, I learned that we all struggled with some degree of ‘imposter syndrome,’ a psychological pattern in which individual doubts their accomplishments, and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud.”
I’ve learned to overcome this by living in the present. There are many causes for this feeling in young people who do things they’re ‘not supposed to’ or ‘expected to.’
At the end of the weekend we all made some friends for life, shared moments we’ll have a hard time forgetting, and above all were grateful to be in each other’s company.
If you’d like to take a look at some of the members in the group check out the speaker page here.
Note to the speakers reading this: I had originally planned to write individual notes to each and every one of you highlighting the impacting of us meeting. Unfortunately time didn’t permit this, instead, I hope you find something meaningful in this piece. Message me if you do.
Following my Intuition - Visiting India
It’s been 6 years since I’ve visited India. The last time I was here was for boarding school because I failed math in the 4th grade. I spent 2 years living at a boarding school learning about experiencing the culture my parent speak so fondly about.
3 days ago today I had a feeling, that I wanted to go to India. A feeling that I had been suppressing for too long. A feeling that I couldn’t suppress any longer.
I called my dad and told him I’d like to go, he asked me to stop by Newark before.
So that’s what I did. On the night of July 3rd, I booked a ticket to India for 10:30 PM on July 5th and a flight to Newark from Seattle on the 4th.
In the past 3 days, I’ve traveled more time zones than I knew existed. Got to see the sun rise and set at 35,000 feet in the air. Since my flight to Newark was on the night of the 4th I got to witness 100+ fireworks shows happening below me simultaneously over the city of Chicago. It looked as if the earth was on fire with sparkles flying all over.
I don’t have much planned, the only place I knew I definitively wanted to visit before the trip is Kainchi Dham. The temple that both Steve Jobs went to during his trip to India while in the early days of Apple. He also recommended Zuckerberg to visit the temple in the early days of Facebook.
It’s close to the Himalayas, I plan to visit some of the hill stations in the nearby area while I’m here.
Unlike Jobs, I’m fortunate to have some family in India.
My dad has arranged a guide who’ll be accompanying me on my travels. He’ll take care of all the bookings, keeping me ‘safe’ in unknown areas, and helping me navigate the different parts I plan to visit.
So far in my first day in Mumbai,
As of now, I know definitively that I’ll be visiting 4 different cities in the next 15 days. Where I’ll go and who I’ll meet are the unknowns I’m okay with.