Leaving it behind

The “it” in this title is university, which although might sound negative, is nothing further the truth. It’s really just a reflection and Femi and Amesrecollection of the moments that made university life so frustrating and rewarding at the same time.

Not really knowing too many people at convocation (Hey Amelie!) which seemed to be common chatter for many other people made for an interesting graduation day. None of my university friends were present and I was more likely to notice the random guy in Media Industries than anything else. Furthermore, being one of three grads of the Honours Bachelor of Public Relations, and the FIRST (insert applause) from the Algonquin College to University of Ottawa side of the program, the other two were from La Cite, I was really on my own. But you come for the gown, the cheers from the family, and the poses with a piece of paper that cost way too much money.

As a graduate, the obvious unavoidable question you get repeatedly is what are you doing next. I told those who asked about things that were in the works, such as a start-up offer and an interview at a company, but mainly was thinking about the guidance I got from one of the recent books I read.

Books adding to perspective 

A small book entitled “You are Born an Original don’t die a Copy”. It provided me with a level of comfort and guidance in my approach to what’s next to come in my career.

I’ve always liked being aware of what others around me are doing, but try not to envy. This point is further expanded in the book. The book is divided into sections called “nuggets”. The title of this nugget is “If You’re Ripe With Envy You’re Ripe For Problems”. This book is full of quotable material and two of the many I like in this section are:

Some people seem to know how to live everyone’s lives but their own. Envy is the consuming desire to have everyone else a little successful than you are. Don’t measure your success by what other’s haven’t done. 

and

Don’t envy anybody. Every person possesses something no one else has. Develop that one thing and make it outstanding.

Self-help sounds and feels good. It’s fuzzy and gives us that warm feeling. But this was different because this type of self-help was good in the fact it already reinforced my approach, allowing me to believe in what I felt was a positive approach for myself. Everyone has a unique path and looking around at my peer group, with some people married, in long-term relationships or in South East Asia, you see this. But to reach your potential, you have to do what you do, do it well and follow that path wherever that may take you.

Toronto here I come

After spending my living and schooling years in Ottawa  it’s time to make a move to the big city. It’s funny how some people think I’m from Toronto because how much I talk and visit the city. But it’s a pure career move, as job prospect wise it makes sense. Things at the Government where I have four years experience are not looking good. As well,  I come from the camp where Ottawa and Toronto are both fabulous cities but I’ve been aiming for Toronto for a while, as there is a reason I escaped to TO as often as I did, to destroy my wallet in the process, so hopefully in time I’ll find what I’m looking for to experience more rewarding and undoubtedly, but not hopefully, frustrating times.

Book Review: Six Pixels of Separation

Let me start off by saying that reading and I have had a rocky relationship. I remember when I was younger getting hauled to the library with my three other siblings. They would be taking home piles of books while I would take home one or two which I wouldn’t end up finishing. Reading was exhausting for me back then. My already imaginative mind did not need books to come alive. I found it a tedious endeavour and didn’t see the point.

Fast forward to today and things have totally changed. I find reading useful for a variety of different reasons. It helps you become a better writer, allows you to pass gaps in downtime, and of course helps you learn about something new. I also think as a professional it is important to read books pertaining to your field, allowing you to gain new insight and perspective. One book which fits this description is Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation, the first book I read this year.

Six Pixels of Separation, with the title borrowed from but not to be confused with Six Degrees of Separation (I confused them a lot when describing this book my friends), is a book about the value of getting online and connecting yourself to the online community so that you can better position yourself as an individual or business. Joel shares that by leveraging the internet to your benefit, primarily through blogging and social networking, you can make new connections, find your niche, and ultimately build your own unique personal brand of who you are and share it with the world.

A quick read at only 270 odd pages due to the simple conversational language Joel uses, Six Pixels of Separation explains that making your presence online, for example by blogging,  is more than just writing entries (text). It is also about audio (podcasts) and video. Joel encourages you that when you are starting to develop your presence online, to not just limit yourself to text but to use these other ways of connect as well.

Since the relaunch of my blog, Six Pixels of Separation is exactly the book that I needed to read. It tells you how to get started, get connecting, and just plain get out there and get acquainted with the tools and people to help propel yourself forward as an individual or business. Six Pixels of Separation is about going beyond your geographical boundaries and exploring online where you can find resources to advance yourself as an individual or as a business.

This is perhaps the most compelling part of the book, using it as a resource. There are a variety of interesting case studies (I do enjoy case studies very much so) of men and women who were able to leverage the internet to create a niche for themselves. Using my memo pad, as I wrote about here, I was able to come jot down the names of these creative people in PR, marketing, and communications, to check out on Twitter (Mine is @FFasoyinu if you don’t have me already) as I went along in Six Pixels of Separation to do further research on later.

Overall, Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation, was an interesting read for me. It really got my mind going in the direction that I wanted to go deeper in in 2011 in regards to entrepreneurship, finding a niche, and developing my personal brand. Couldn’t have been a better match for me and my book to start the year. I think I’m going to enjoy this book review thing.