When Was the Last Time Someone Listened to Your Idea… And Really Heard You?

Instead of just patting you on the back, what if they extended a hand? 

Welcome to BW Missions

During a vivid discussion in my teenage years, my stepmother told me something I’ll never forget: 

 “It’s a lonely journey at the top.” 

Even though the exact context has faded, the universal takeaway has stuck with me to this day.

When I’m honest with myself, I know I'm not the only one who should take credit for my accomplishments. I am the byproduct of my parents, the people who have given me great opportunities, and now a tremendous team.

Every time I can, I make a conscious and consistent effort to lift up those around me and celebrate their wins.

My best advice? Create a community at home and at work of people who will trek beside you as you traverse the valleys, not just celebrate with you at the peaks.

Today’s Featured Mission

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Rick Smith

When Rick Smith, CEO of Axon (formerly TASER) lost two of his friends to gun violence, he couldn’t fathom how people could still justify firing bullets at each other.Seeking an answer at 23 years old led him on the incredible journey of inventing the TASER, a nonlethal weapon used by police forces and military worldwide.

His latest endeavor has been releasing The End of Killing, a book that explores highly controversial technologies, and examines when and how we should arm those devices.

The ultimate takeaway? Deepening our understanding can enable applications for the greater good.

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Chloe belangia

A year and a half ago, I called Chloe Belangia and said “I need help building a brand. Can you teach me how?” Despite her lack of prior brand building experience, I had a hunch she could…and she did!

This talented recent Georgia Tech graduate rolled up her sleeves and did an excellent job on my brand strategy, copywriting, newsletter frameworks, and website architecture.

Chloe helped me uncover my best self, and then elegantly brought it to life in the digital world. She’s the perfect mix of sharp technical skill and creativity all in one package. I wish her the best of luck when she moves to San Francisco this summer!

GROWTH

How Do You Build an Engaged Community on LinkedIn?

I’ve spent the last year and a half answering this question myself as I’ve grown my connections from 6,000 to 10,644. I just published an article that serves as a distilled process doc to help you build a community of your own.

LinkedIn has been such a special platform - and it can be for you too. This guide will take you from building your team and establishing general brand awareness to launching a product and driving lead generation.

Opportunities

10Pearls, a digital transformation company based in D.C., is hiring both a Marketing Leader and Chief of Staff. Notable clients include Coca-Cola, PayPal, Homeland Security, and AARP.  Their CEO, Imran Aftab, is one of the most globally educated people I have ever met. I am extremely impressed by his efforts to help businesses implement new technologies and optimize processes with agility.

Animus Studios, an exceptional video production agency in Rhode Island, is seeking production talent as they scale up their operations across the country. I first came into contact with them after they hosted me on their podcast about storytelling with purpose. The leaders at the helm of their company, Mark and Arty, are genuinely kind and driven entrepreneurs who never lose sight of the human element in all the inspiring work they do. Get in touch here!

Sourcing a Summer Intern? Asmir Lalani just finished his freshman year at Georgia State. I’ve been helping mentor Asmir since high school, and I can tell you with confidence that he’s incredibly mature for his age. He is highly skilled in communications and is now looking to gain applicable marketing experience. I’ve been consistently impressed with his inherent knack for learning and desire to grow. If this sounds like the right fit, reply to this email and I’ll connect you

Resources

Simon Sinek’s Why Discovery Course: Before graduation, I had no idea whether to take a full-time job or pursue a path of my own. I reached out on a Facebook Message to Simon Sinek’s page, and heard back from Stephen Shedletsky, Simon’s Head of Brand Experience. Throughout numerous Skype calls, Stephen helped guide me to my own decision.

I came out on the other side of this course with my own Why Statement: “To create opportunities that empower others to discover and express who they are so they can connect to others in a more meaningful way” If you know someone who this could benefit who stands in similar shoes, I highly recommend. 

Vivid Vision: Stuck in your business? David Schnurman, who I mentioned in the last newsletter, sent me a chapter from this book by Cameron Herold, which helped me start mapping out our next three years. It's a highly effective exercise for any CEO or leader tasked with strategizing the future. Learn how to create your own in this exercise.

Not Stuck in the Future with a Vivid Vision? Latch on to one through my good friend Dhruva Rajendra - and his RIOT Newsletter. Dhruva is the Founder of Fast Rope Labs, and is obsessed with bringing ideas to the world through incredible tech. In his newsletter, he typically pairs a couple of ideas to create a new product. It’s almost like the 2.0 edition of Peter Thiel’s book Zero to One, but better, because it’s weekly. 

Events

Next Gen Summit 2019 - GIVEAWAY - 2 Free Tickets 

Next Gen is a hub that cultivates the knowledge, resources, mentorship, and connection entrepreneurs need to keep pushing forward. This years event is just around the corner and their founders, Dylan Gambardella and Justin Lafazan are incredible people. They generously are giving away 2 free tickets to people who read this newsletter - Fill out this form for a chance to attend for free!

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Growing up, life always felt like a countless set of walls to circumnavigate, which taught me the value of innovation from a young age. Following the simpler, straightforward path from A to Z would have brought me to a generic destination. When we fearlessly push for more, we can harness our imagination to accomplish the missions that matter to us the most.