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Alumni Profile: Irene Fernando

Irene is one of the co-founders of STLF. Irene, Isaiah (STLF’s Executive Director), and Claire (STLF's Communications and Development Fellow) sat down over a cup of coffee and a doughnut for this profile, this is their conversation.

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25
Jan13
Time 12:04

 

Define your own success

Guest blog by a fellow dream-chaser, Sam Solie!

Author: Sam Solie

Below is the factual version of my story - if you’d prefer the spiced-up, Dr. Seuss version, check out this piece.

In school, I was made to believe that there was one definition of success, and one path to achieve that success.  As a result, I was trapped in the “next step mentality” - in high school, I focused on getting into a prestigious college; in college, I focused on getting a high paying job; at my job, I focused on getting a bonus and a promotion.  I was seeking traditional success, going down the traditional path.

Yet as I achieved this success, I noticed that I was unhappy, I was not proud of what I was doing and I was not excited about the future.  But how could this be?!  Shouldn’t happiness, pride and excitement be a byproduct of success?!  I started to wonder if success for me was something different.  So I took action to find out.

I quit my job as an investment banker in New York and moved to Colorado.  Over the next year and a half, I went from being a sushi delivery guy to a blogger to an Unreasonable Maverick to a freelance filmmaker to a co-founder of the Maven Summit.  During this time, I approached each experience as an opportunity to learn, and by doing so, gained clarity on my passions, my values, my purpose and ultimately what success means to me. 

To most, this path is one of failure - I gained no expertise and made little money.  But I believe that each experience was necessary to get to where I am today.  For the first time, I can say with confidence that I am in the best position to succeed - I have the opportunity to learn about things I'm excited about, am surrounded by people I love and admire, and am building something that I believe can have an enduring, positive impact on the world.  In other words, I’m set up to achieve success as defined by me.

So how do you define success?

This post was written by Sam Solie - an admirer of the STLF community, and co-founder of the Maven Summit.  He's excited to adventure with you sometime soon.  So much so that he's offering all STLF alumni $15 off any future trip - just mention you are part of the gang when you apply!

 


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