As a kid, what did you think you were going to do when you grew up?
I still have my kindergarten assignment that “answers” this question. As an immigrant, I grew up keenly aware of the importance of saving money; that manifested itself in the dreamy ambition to “live in a van so I can save for my family.” Then as a young adult, I had the ultra-lame desire to be not just a doctor, but also a lawyer. Since then, I’ve accepted that I will probably never “grow up.” I’m too much of a growth and adventure junkie and will likely have three or four different careers.
Most interesting/strangest job you’ve ever had?
For three years, I worked part-time for LivingSocial Adventures. In this stupidly awesome, irreplicable role, I actually got paid to help people escape the humdrums of city life and play. We hosted events like Ziplining & BBQing, Dodgeball & Donuts, and Vinyasa in the Vineyard. My official job duties included hamming it up with customers, rockin’ the mic, and initiating dance parties.
Who is your dream client and why?
The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Since I grew up in a major metropolitan (Washington DC), I didn’t experience the rugged outdoors much. So, after college and before my big-boy, suit-and-tie job, I decided to enroll in one of NOLS’ summer semesters. For 70 days, we kayaked, backpacked, and sailed through the Australian Outback. Having never slept in a tent prior, I was transformed. Specifically, I gained a profound appreciation for nature, conservation, minimalism, leadership (including followership!), and growth through adversity. It would be such a joy to help NOLS advance its mission of building leaders via the outdoors.
What makes you grumpy at work?
Mean people, inefficiency, and insignificant/flimflam results.
What marketing/social sin drives you crazy?
Just as humans disproportionately use their two ears compared to their one mouth, so do organizations. It’s changing for the better (largely thanks to social media which empowers customers), but too many still view marketing tools as megaphones rather than earpieces.
If you were a pantone color, which would you be?
#485. It’s a passionate red that’s oddly nestled amidst some random browns and peaches.
What’s your secret talent/skill?
I have a knack for organizing and systematizing things; more so tangible, but also abstract. I’m pretty sure my spirit animal is the African “sengi” elephant shrew; it survives by maintaining a pristinely clear set of trails to escape predators. (If you’re a nature enthusiast and have Netflix, check out BBC’s “Hidden Kingdoms” to learn more; the cinematography is legit better than what you could possibly see in real life.)
What’s a little-known fact about you?
I’m a licensed skydiver! I completed my first tandem in 2008 and then decided to take up the sport in 2010. It’s been a while since my last, but I completed 48 solo jumps. When my SC life is a little more settled, I’ll pick it back up. (PS. If you’ve ever thought about going, I highly recommend it; it’s sensational!)
Three things you can’t live without?
Weightlifting, Philly cheese steaks, and balance (e.g., work/life, security/adventure, saving/spending, activity/stillness).
What are your favorite TV series?
Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Planet Earth, The Office, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Seinfeld, and Curb Your Enthusiasm. I also like to read – favorites are The Power of Now, How to Win Friends & Influence People, The Prophet, On Writing Well, and Walden; or, Life in the Woods.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
TV & candy
If the ingredients of a cobb salad went into battle, which one would lead them to certain victory and why?
The bacon, avocado, chicken, and eggs would probably lead them into battle; but thanks to their nonstop praise, their swelled egos would cause them to get killed too soon. Enter the save-the-day underdog – chopped salad greens!