“there is no normal anymore”
Swish is a VC at JB Fitzgerald in New York, Co Founder of Dunk Daily, Canada’s Top 20 Under 20, LinkedIn Youth Editor, Tedx Speaker, and with the National Speaker’s Bureau.
Connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter. And Learn more about his work!
Among his many list of accomplishments, he’s super down to earth and a great friend. I got to ask him some questions and I hope you enjoy the article below:
You’re in school right now but recently you’ve been offered an opportunity that requires you to move and to take time off school. Imagine packing everything up and moving to a different city. Imagine the amount of courage you need within you that you say yes without knowing if things will work out or not. You go to school and get a degree in four years and then if you’re lucky enough, you’ll secure a job after. That’s what’s considered normal. You go to school and you get that degree you need to succeed. So do you let the fear of failure stop you from taking the risk or are you going to fight those fears of uncertainty?
I remember meeting Swish back in 2015 and ever since then, I am continually inspired by his positivity, determination, and passion. Somedays when I feel tired or begin questioning the things I’m doing, I’m actually reminded to stay true to who I am when I think of Swish. He’s a natural leader and a born hustler who’s incredibly down to earth. And to be quite honest, after hearing his story you’ll find yourself inspired to chase your dreams.
Among being an entrepreneur, professional speaker, and venture capitalist, Swish started out dreaming about debating. Though he wanted to debate, he had both a lisp and an accent. He feared judgement from his peers to the point that he not only began putting a lot of pressure on himself, but he also began questioning whether debate was still something he wanted to do. Luckily, we were graced with Swish’s top notch debating skills (he’s debated on the National Team) because he found the strength within himself with the help of his supportive family to continually practice despite the fear of judgement. His practicing helped him believe that he had something important to share. In hindsight, he realizes that there are definitely times when we all put unnecessary pressure on ourselves but the real question we need to ask ourselves is whether these concerns are actually a problem, or are we making it into a problem? A lot of times for Swish, he is able to remain positive and overcome difficulties because he focuses on finding opportunities to his problems so that he won’t think too much about the problem being an obstacle but an experience for growth. Focusing too much on a problem or on all the negatives of a situation can actually make the situation worse because your perception of the situation changes to reflect negativity.
Right now, Swish is working at a venture capitalist firm with his mentor Gary Vaynerchuck in New York. Despite his reputable job as an influencer, he illustrates how not everything is as easy as it seems and that even in the best city in the world, there are challenges he faces. He admits how moving to New York was a terrifying experience because he had to put his studies to a halt and had to continually work at confronting his fear of not being able to succeed. There are days where he feels scared because he took a huge risk but he acknowledges that being afraid of something, especially failure, is a sign that you care about yourself and care about what you’re doing. Though jumping at an opportunity has many unknowns, he realized that complacency is even more scary. Settling for less or not taking the chance to explore opportunities is scary because he believes if it’s anything, everyone has a capacity to learn, to grow, and to develop into the person they dream of being.
Swish took the non-traditional route where he’s not necessarily taking four years of school but he truly believes that the path to have a refined education is to be open to opportunities. Especially, incredible opportunities will pass if you don’t seize them. The world changes so fast that there really is no “normal” thing anymore. Though going to college or university is what society tells us to do, Swish truly believes that “college is coming into question” and that in the near future it will be common for people to not go to college. If that’s the case which I have no doubt it is, Swish is already setting the standard for those who are finding the courage to pursue their dreams in an unconventional way.
When the interview came to an end, Swish left me with amazing advice to share with you on how to tackle your fears or sticky situations that you might find yourself in.
- Things will get better: Everything is temporary. Sometimes in terrible situations, it’s easy to feel like things won’t ever get better. But with time, things change and though cheesy as it sounds, time will heal all wounds.
- Place yourself around people who are positive. They say laughter is contagious? Well positivity is as well.
- Note that you are not alone. There are people who are willing to help you, give you advice, and make you feel better. Sometimes you need to look a bit harder or find the strength to reach out because people do care and people do want to help.
- Realize what the root of your problems are. Try tracing to the root of what’s happening. What led you to feel this way about a particular situation or person. Try connecting the dots to see if you come up with any root issues that you could potentially address.
- Eliminate negativity. There are respectful ways to say no to people; Keep your distance from things that drain your energy such as experiences, jobs, or people.
- Take things slow. Understand that things that don’t happen overnight. The process of self re-invention is slow but know that it will happen.
If you liked this article, tune in next Thursday at the same time and you’ll hear from more inspiring individuals and how they turned their difficulties into learning experiences.
Leave a Reply