Ever since I moved to Los Angeles two weeks ago, it still is surreal to me that I moved 3,000 miles away from where I spent all of my life. Currently, I am an Executive Editor at Everipedia, the “chiller more thug” Wikipedia that aims to revolutionize the way knowledge is created and distributed. Every morning, I wake up and author content that is seen by thousands of people daily. Just thinking about that statistic is mind-boggling.
Lately, I have been wondering how was I fortunate enough to land such an incredible opportunity. What did I do that separated myself from the countless number of recent college grads to be in the position I am in today? From looking back at my life, I have come up with four pillars of wisdom that have brought me to this point.
If You Are Going To Do Something, You Better Do It Right
When I was younger, I would often hear my dad say “if you’re going to do something, you better do it right, otherwise it’s not worth doing at all.” I really take this one to heart not only because my dad said it, but because it emphasizes the importance of creating quality that you are proud to show the world. In a sense, your work is an extension of yourself. Whether if it is a project in your career or a hobby in your personal life, if people see that you are taking the time to construct something worthwhile, they will take notice.
In addition, keep in mind that you can put in all the effort in the world into something, but if you are not smart about it, your effort will be wasted. I have witnessed so many people make the same mistakes and wondering why they are not getting anywhere, and it is because they are not learning from their faults. It all comes back to taking the time to learn from past failures in order to have success in the future.
You Get Out What You Put In
If there is one statement that I cannot stress enough, it is this one. The universe has a way of rewarding those who fully devote themselves to something. I remember when I was studying in Brazil, learning Portuguese was a monumental task. About I week into it, I decided to genuinely attempt to learn the language; so I immersed myself in Brazilian culture, started listening to Brazilian Music, and spoke Portuguese to others as much as possible. And you know what, it paid off. Although I only spent several weeks in Brazil, locals were telling me that I was speaking more Portuguese than expats who had lived in the country for several months. The sense of accomplishment I had for myself made the struggle worth it.
The same is true for my work in Everipedia. When I started creating content for them, there was no guarantee of a job after and from the appearances the chances were unlikely. Yet something clicked in my head, a eureka moment, that if I made enough valuable contributions for them, then they would have no choice but to move me to their California headquarters. With this mindset, I went to work and again immersed myself, this time with creating Everipedia pages. After several months of getting over the learning curve of how to use the site and getting the results that they were looking for, my premonition came true, and here I am working for Everipedia full-time.
The moral of these excerpts is that sometimes you have to create opportunities for yourself instead of just following the crowd. In addition, unconditional commitment to a cause will not only bring you success but will help you grow as a person.
Be Comfortable Feeling Uncomfortable
Learning to deal with uncomfortable situations is a powerful way to metamorphosize. Today, too many people are afraid to step out of their comfort zone, whether it be trying a new activity or being in an unfamiliar environment. Instead, they need to embrace the unknown or else be doomed to a life trapped in Plato’s Allegorical Cave. For myself, the way that I exposed myself to a different light was traveling, and I prospered because I learned to adapt quickly and listened to the perspectives of the people around me. Accepting uncertainty in my life has significantly advanced my own personal development.
Your Network is Your Net Worth
I remember hearing those exact words when I interviewed Kazi Sorrentino a few months ago. It does not matter if you meet them yesterday or yesteryear, the connections you make are valuable resources. Furthermore, you will only go as far as the people you surround yourself by on a daily basis, and with the internet and social media, you can know do that virtually. That is how I met Mahbod Moghadam, Co-Founder of Everipedia, by just reaching out to him on Facebook. I could not have imagined friend requesting him a few years ago when he was with RapGenius would lead me to work beside him today. Because I reached out to him, I am now working with a gifted team at Everipedia and my network is expanding to include more successful people in tech. You do not realize how relevant your connections are until the opportunity you need them presents itself.