Monday, May 21, 2012

Two Lives

Please allow me to share one secret: I have two lives.

In one life, I'm the "global consultant" for Cisco Systems Advanced Services. I act as the technical lead and solution architect to handle multiple Cisco AS projects in Emerging Markets, which covers eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, even these days I'm busy traveling more to Nigeria and South Africa, to ensure our solution can overcome the customers' challenges in deploying new technology as well as maintaining their network infrastructure.

In another life, I'm the co-founder and the managing director for GEM Foundation, a non-profit organization that has the vision to prepare students in my country for the competition in global market. We have some activities like regular Webex meeting to connect senior professionals and entrepreneurs to share their experience, tips and trick, technical and soft skill, business and entrepreneurship to younger professionals and students. Some other activities include scholarship, annual road show, career coach and mentoring, cheap training academy and internship program.

For my first life I have to rely on my field experience, consulting and customer skills, project management, leadership as well as my technical skills especially in IP NGN, Carrier Ethernet, Mobile space and Data Center. I have to keep up with the technology by always renewing my CCIE status. And I may pursue another expert level certification like CCDE and CCIE Data Center. Just like what I've been doing since I started 13 years ago and during my 6 years time with Cisco.

For my second life I have to deal with something completely different. Yes it is not-for-profit organization but we still need to make money in order to maintain a sustainable business. We treat it just as a startup company. I personally use Lean Startup method, bootstrap like Maverick startup and use Guerrilla marketing system.

So far my second life has forced me to be involved heavily in product development, to make business plan, handle the organization structure and management, and practice marketing, selling and pitching the ideas. I'm really into this foundation I decided to go back to school to learn deeper about business and management.

The two lives may lead to one target life in the future.
What is it, you may ask?
Let's keep it as secret for now.

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