An Entrepreneur’s Resume

January 27, 2009

How should an entrepreneur write about his work and contributions? I was asked to write a short essay of my own experience and accomplishments. I originally tried explaining my work experience in a chronological order but it ended up being too long. So I rewrote it to enumerate the main lessons I learned along the way. The end result exceeded my expectations.  I realized once more that writing directly from my experience is easier and far more fulfilling.

Victor Chapela – My Work History.

It is almost impossible to separate my work history from my personal development. My professional life has been a continuous learning experience. Like a giant rollercoaster ride; full of surprises. It started off as something that was a lot of fun, something I would even have payed to do. Somewhere down the road, probably when I started believing myself to be successful, work became all too serious. It was suddenly all about being more successful. Then, the Internet bubble burst and I had to start all over again. It was that very hard process of coming back, full of life changing experiences, that allowed me to start enjoying the ride as opposed to trying to win the race. These experiences also helped me realize that the more you give, the more you receive in return.

On having fun.

I started working very young, as an eleven year old kid. I taught advanced software development to teenagers. I taught them by doing what was fun, by developing games together.  I didn’t think of it as a job, I was playing. It took me many years to come back to this very basic way of relating to work and life.

On having the right partners.

I have had many different partners in all the ventures I have founded or been a part of. By far the most important features that must be shared is a common set of values and the same long term goal. Even with highly intelligent, ethical partners, the worst problems arise when the end goal is different.

On being too serious.

Ego is the main culprit. We want to feel important. Having bigger problems feels like being more important; having more employees feels like being more important; being busy all the time also feels like being more important. We end up being too serious about it all and we fail to notice what really matters.

On planning.

There is a Chinese proverb: luck is when preparation and opportunity meet. When leading, being prepared is your most important duty. Opportunities are beyond your control. Planning should be focused on being prepared to jump on opportunities; planning should never be meant to try to control or generate the opportunities.

On focus.

The more simultaneous ventures I was involved in, the worse they all went.  I see it as a vector sum. If all the arrows point in roughly the same direction, the resultant grows exponentially. If your efforts, ideas and energy are spent in diverging projects or companies, they nullify each other.

On helping.

I now focus on helping out as much as I can; I help my clients with the best service or product we can come up with; I help my country with my time, effort and ideas; and last, but not least I help my family and friends by enjoying life with them.

I strongly believe today life is not to be taken too seriously. The more you enjoy it, the more you help and the more fun you have, the more rewarding your work will be as a result.

Cybership’s first flight

January 27, 2009

I had been planning on starting my blog for quite some time now. A strong need had been silently growing to share my thoughts and experiences. But until now, I had found no time to do so and I was confused about the topics and concepts I wanted to write about. I felt my brain sitting in a word freezer.

Then, something happened that broke through the ice. I was asked to write an essay about my work history. Something that should have been straightforward became a daunting task. There was a restriction to keep it down to 500 words. All my experiences, thoughts, challenges and successes had to be reduced to under one page.

At first, I thought it would be easy. I was working in an airplane; I had plenty of battery and a long flight ahead. I started by writing my life history in a chronological order. My plan was to then summarize it into a final document. I started typing away while I sipped my apple juice and listened to some new age music.

After a few refills I checked the word count. I was shocked. I had already written over two thousand words and I was nowhere near the end. I realized I would never finish it if I were to continue down that path.

I decided to start all over again. I had no particular plan but knew I should focus on those things that were important to me. Words started to flow from experience instead of trying to explain why or how. It was all structured effortlessly. It was almost magical. And when I finished and read through it, I was amazed to discover that I felt it needed no changes. It was good to go.

That essay lit the fire I needed to get started writing my blog. I decided to write about my experiences and not about theory. I also decided to write about what is really important to me and not about specific topics.

Today my cybership takes off. My destination is unknown, but my mission clear. Welcome aboard.