“The best things in life are unexpected – because there were no expectations.”
I’ve always believed that the saddest thing in life is untapped, wasted potential. Consequently, my greatest fear is for someone to one day look at me and say, “he could have done so much more,” or “what a waste of potential.” These fears weigh on me and prompt an ongoing evaluation of all aspects of my life, but in particular, my work. I’m a Manager at a consulting firm in our Restructuring practice.
I’ve been with the company for over six years now and for the most part, it has been a great experience for me. I work with smart people, take part in challenging projects, and by most accounts, make a good living. The expectations are set by other people and as long as I consistently meet or exceed those expectations, then I keep progressing. Despite all of this, I’ve always felt tremendous fear – fear that the daily routine of a traditional corporate job would lead to something all-too-predictable.
I used to embrace predictability. The notion that I could see everything around the next corner brought great comfort. Four years ago, I ventured out on something with no roadmap, no defined expectations. What I stumbled upon has proven that the thrill of the unexpected brings energy to my life that I never thought existed.
A New Beginning
I will admit that starting a non-profit was never in any life plan that I ever envisioned for myself. The creation of Philanthro Productions was an experiment; a question of how to meaningfully engage our generation in philanthropy. And so the journey began. The heaviness of a pre-defined path and the expectations at Deloitte were replaced by the lightness of having the freedom to build something from scratch, with no idea of what it would become.
Philanthro Productions has grown from a mere idea on paper to a sustainable platform for young professional activism. Our events showcase charitable giving in a nightlife setting and the people we reach are able to give back while still embracing their social lives. This Organization changes the lives of many people, but none more than mine. It inspires me to apply my intelligence, innovation and ambition to create a new vision of success – a vision predicated on positively impacting other peoples’ lives, rather than accumulating material wealth.
Passion and Energy
The entrepreneurial spirit that drives Philanthro Productions forward captures everything I never thought I would become, and I love it. The opportunity to grow our Company, build our brand, and lead such a promising group of young people transcends the greatest of lessons learned at Deloitte. I often look at where this Organization is today and can’t help but imagine where I might be without it. Ironically, I believe much of my success at Deloitte can be traced back to this ridiculous idea that is Philanthro. The passion that Philanthro exudes in me creates energy for all other aspects of my life and that value can never be underestimated.
A New Type of Thinking
I am known to the Philanthro team as a visionary – an Apple fanatic always attempting to drop a line from Steve Jobs. I might even be accused of trying to transform Philanthro into the Apple of the non-profit world. Guilty as charged. It’s certainly not Apple’s iPhone reception that inspires me; the inspiration is truly centered on Apple’s attempt to revolutionize the industry with every new product offering.
It is this mindset and goal for Philanthro Productions that challenges me to reach beyond my training as an accountant. Accountants are taught to analyze things numerically, in a black and white world, where creativity is known as fraud. Taking Philanthro from what it is today to what it can be tomorrow will require everything that my day job doesn’t – innovative thinking, ignorance for rules, and a complete disregard for the notion that the future can be modeled using inputs from the past. I look forward to this challenge and embrace both the opportunity to achieve success and overcome failure.
Starting Philanthro Productions is one of my proudest accomplishments in a very blessed life. In making the decision to start this Organization, intuition got the best of me. While an analytical review of the costs and benefits would have probably left me on the sidelines, I believe my intuition somehow already knew that this opportunity would give me what my life sorely lacked. The comfort and steadiness of my day job with Deloitte pays the bills, but it doesn’t create the passion, energy, and unpredictability that I need to feel significant in life. The day we started Philanthro Productions was the day that I began to bridge that gap between what my life needed and what it wanted; it was the day that led me off the well-worn path that I know all too well and consequently, I now thrive on the unexpected.
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- Bridging the Gap between the Expected and Unexpected - November 10, 2010