Today at 6PM, members attended a guest lecture by Chris Haddad on unlocking your inner entrepreneurial talents and using them to launch your dream career. Jeffery Loppert gave a short introduction for Chris Haddad highlighting his other speaking opportunities at various conferences and his current position as WS02′s VP of Technology Evangelism.
Chris first obtained his degree in Electrical Engineering and as part of his academic career was exposed to programming in languages like Ada, C, and Fortran. As such, he then shared some tips and advice as to how to start your own business and to grow in your career.
First he points out that one should follow their passion, plain and simple. If you’re going to spend 40 hours or more per week on your career choice, then it better be what you want to do everyday. The key is to finding your passion and to approach it from a business or economic perspective; identify what people need day-to-day that you can provide. He then cited an example site, Etsy, which is an open bazaar for crafts that allows people to create items and to sell them to a target consumer.
Be a builder; “delight your clients with ingenuity and bespoke craftsmanship.” What he means by this ambiguous statement is to find what you revel in creating – what only you can provide and to delight whomever your customers will be with your creativity, dedication, and passion. He mentioned that one “cannot make time” and so one should be productive – to think of a minimal, viable product and to iterate over it based on what people truly need. Be persistent about ideas!
Using the people that you know around you and to start off locally can be the baby steps one needs to reach the stable position of providing a service. Embrace the global economy and recruit global talent once you have a product. However, do not forget to establish a safety net to recover quickly from unexpected situations – a personal project or a company.
Also key is to maintain your own professional network on sites such as LinkedIn and to write a blog – something that you can share with like-minded people or potential employers about your current projects and insights. Hot topics right now, he mentioned, are: cloud computing, social, and mobile media.
Coming to the conclusion of his talk, he reiterated some of the points we wanted members to leave with and to muddle over: following your passion, being innovative, having drive, being persistent, and having a can-do attitude. Always say “yes” when opportunity knocks as you can surprise even yourself with what you are capable of.
To find out more about Chris Haddad, visit the following link, follow him on Twitter, or shoot him an e-mail: