I've been living with two lives. Or better yet, I've been having two faces.
With one face, I'm the Global Consultant for Cisco Advanced Services, traveling the world to work with our customers. With another face, I manage a non-profit organization GEM Foundation and at the same time I work as chairman for a company called Jawdat Teknologi Indonesia that offers advance training in computer
I personally have so many thoughts in mind that keeping me awake in 2012. I have a dream to see many more Indonesians competing in global market. I have a dream to see Indonesian consultants are taking over the jobs currently held by external consultants in my country. I have a dream to educate and produce the next generation Indonesian professionals who have global mindset.
I work with the other founders of GEM Foundation in order to make the organization as the bridge between professionals, entrepreneur and students, by conducting regular online meeting called WebexSunday. With my team in Jawdat, our focus is to help Indonesian professionals and students preparing for global
competition by offering advance training products such as CCIE93, Network Engineer+ and Global Consultant class. The profit gained from our products is used to run the operation, to build CCIE lab that can be used by community, and to offer scholarship to less fortunate students and talented professionals who cannot afford the training price.
Our advance training system can help with the new concept of learning like “anytime, anywhere”, “at your own pace”, and “learn one thing a day”. We teach something "beyond certification". We show "the big picture". We make sure what we teach is relevant with what is required to perform at work in real life. We use new methodology to ensure those who attend our class will gain simulated project experience, team work, presentation and communication skill. Everyday we keep thinking about how to improve our products, and to invent new way of learning, in order to achieve our goal to prepare our students for global competition.
To perform all the tasks in my two lives I have to split my time, not my face, in half.
Google encourages its employees to take 20 percent
of their time to work on something company-related that interests them
personally. This means that if you have a great idea, you can spend
time for a full day in a week to try to make it happens. Google claims
that many of their products in Google Labs started out as pet projects
in the 20 percent time program.
I love the idea. But I don't work for Google. And I'm not trying just to execute new idea for my current company. What I'm trying to execute, with the other founders and my team, is something disruptive and a completely new way to educate professionals and students from my country. It is something that no one has done it before.
So personally I believe it takes more than 20 percent to be able to execute this great idea. I need at least 50 percent. I want to continue working with my current company with 50 percent focus, and continue pursuing the dream and trying to make it reality with the other 50 percent.
Hence I call myself a 50preneur.
And how am I doing with my venture by focusing 50 percent?
We laid out the plan for GEM Foundation and Jawdat. We identified the 8 factors we believe are required to make my dream in 2012 becomes reality. When I looked at it, I realized we are not very far to achieve the goal.
1. Place and Lab for Learning
We have already had one in Jakarta, and our current lab is capable to practice CCIE in Routing & Switching track. We are in progress to build another lab that can be used to learn Internet services and programming language.
2. Structured Learning Program
We have this with our CCIE93, Network Engineer+ and Global Consultant program for computer networking area. We will include some other areas in the future.
3. Instructors and Mentors
Several Indonesian CCIEs are currently supporting the program.
4. Paying Students
We have more than 50 students in CCIE93. Network Engineer+ has just been opened with 20 pilot students. Global Consultant IP NGN pilot class was done last month, and we are going to open the second class early February. The previous profit generated by these activities was enough to build a complete CCIE lab.
5. Social Network Hub
We built several online tools as the hub for social networking. We have CCIE Club portal, our recording from the online meeting are available on WebexSunday portal, and we have global forum for those who have attended the classes from Jawdat.
6. Experienced Professionals dan Entrepreneurs
Experience professionals and entrepreneurs have a crucial role to share their knowledge and experience, to open up the horizon of those young professionals and students. We aim not only to teach technical expertise but as well as to educate about soft skill, how to communicate, mindset, interview skills and ability to market oneself.
7. Scholarship System
We are currently building a scholarship system that will be managed by GEM
Foundation. Since Jawdat have already several programs running, we can start offering the scholars to attend our classes for free. In the future we are going to design a collaborative mechanism to pay the scholar to take CCIE lab, for example, and to learn other skills than computer networking.
8. Global Company to Hire
After we train both the technical skill
and the soft skill, GEM Foundation and Jawdat will try to distribute our students to work in global companies all around the world.
We have covered about 6 out of the 8 factors! This is an exciting time. What we have achieved so far makes me wake up everyday with full of enthusiasm. The same enthusiasm I have with my current work in Cisco :)
Am I cheating my current company?
No. I perform at the same level compare to before I became 50preneur. What is the secret? By working more efficiently. 200% more efficient, to be precise. I learn how to deliver the same task like before, with only half of the time. I learn to prepare for presentation and to create slides for customer meeting within a very short time. If previously I need 8 weeks to deliver a Low Level Design, now I have to do it in only 4 weeks. Without sacrificing quality. So what matters for me is to achieve the same result like before, with only 50 percent time.
Is it hard?
Yes, it is. But I believe it's necessary in order to do more for the community.
Why don't I quit Cisco?
I love what I do in Cisco. I like to meet our customers to solve their problem. I love to travel to see new places. I feel that I accomplish something every time my project is concluded. Why should I quit? Until now I still able to manage between my work in Cisco, my venture with GEM Foundation and Jawdat, and my personal life.
How does this way of life affect my performance at Cisco?
So far there is no impact. I got good performance review recently. I delivered a superb work in my latest work auditing one customer network in Middle East. I got good feedback from my colleagues, and even a small bonus as appreciation of my work.
What is going to happen next?
I'm going to continue living with two lives, to continue working with two faces. There is no drawback for my current company anyway. If I continue doing this, it means I become more efficient at the same time I practice what the company call Corporate Social Responsibility, in my own way. If someday I decide to focus only with my work in Cisco, it means I'm already a very efficient worker that can do the same task with half time. If someday I decide to work full time with GEM Foundation and Jawdat, well, that means my current company is capable to provide good resources and atmosphere to produce an entrepreneur.
Can I survive long with this? Is this 50preneur only for temporary?
Only time will tell.
Right now I just want to live to the fullest, in this world and to pursue the after life. To contribute, to be a good father, to do what I love and to love what I do.
I'm a 50preneur.
And I'm doing this for the next generation.