Simon Sunde

"Fail early and fail often."

Purpose

Every day we wake up and go out to do things. These things often have to do with our jobs, hobbies or businesses. We do these things day after day, week after week, year after year. But why?

Sometimes it’s ’cause we have to. Other times it’s ‘cause we really want to. It can be driven by curiosity, passion or necessity.
However, one abstract and inexpressible substance is to be found in every single thing we do. That’s our purpose. That’s our why.
A person’s purpose isn’t always easily found. But when it is, it makes everything seem clear and can produce enormous amounts of enthusiasm, courage and optimism, that’ll last a lifetime (if not longer).

What is it?
Purpose is often defined as some sort of goal, that we aim for and try to reach in everything we do. That’s purpose all right, but it goes deeper. It has wider implications. It has higher meaning. It has greater impact.
It’s our guiding star, when we’re navigating through opportunities and self-discovery. Without out it, we wander into a meaningless void. Never fully understanding where we’re going and why we do the things we do.
Because as said “purpose” is your essential “reason why”. It is your motivating force, your invigorating energy, your inner fuel that fires your engines. Purpose is what drives you to do what you already do – and want to keep doing.

Gathered here are three things I find crucial for discovering, as well as maintaining one’s purpose:

Forget Prestige!
In my opinion one should never do anything just because of the prestige. Don’t worry about what other people make of you – the only thing that matters is what you, your friends and family thinks.
If you do anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious. Many things we consider prestigious today, used to be anything but at the beginning. It’s because someone took “nothing” and made it “something” we now consider it prestigious.
The first example that comes to mind, is the Beatles. Everybody once laughed at the Beatles, because their music were so obscure and weird (at the time) – But they kept going and then one day someone took the chance and recorded their first album. Ever since they’ve been one of the most record-breaking and prestigious bands ever in history.

Success
There’s two main misassumptions about success that troubles me:
The first one is how we think we know what success is. However, the truth is, that we adopt these perceptions by others and considers it success. I’m not saying we should give up on our ideas of success, but we should make sure that they’re our own. Success should be an individual measurement, based on what a person is pursuing in life.
The second is the destination. Most people believe that when they reach, what they consider to be success, they’ll be happy. What really happens, is when one goal is reached, another is immediately set – which basically means that we might be successful, but we’ll never reach true success and therefore never reach true happiness.

Boundaries
There will be situations in life when you’ll be faced with decisions that put your values at odds. In order to be true to your purpose (and yourself), you’ll need to be able to set boundaries. You need to know where you draw the line and remembering your values. Every time you compromise with believes, you compromise with your purpose (which means your success and simultaneously who you are).

If you have anything to add, please share it in the comment section below.

Apply with heart

When you’re searching for your dream job there is only one question that applies: How do I get noticed and stand out from the pack?

The bad news is, todays market is a tough market. The good news is, it’s to your advantage! I know many people who are struggling to find a job these days, so who am I to say it’s a good thing?
Truth is, I been there myself. I applied for all my dream jobs, but no offers were coming my way. Eventually, I broadened the filter, expanded more and more, and eventually I landed a job in a 7-eleven (yeah, that’s right). I was fresh out of high school at the time, so I had no degree or real work experience. I really had to fight for that job and it was minimal pay, long hours and bad conditions.

It wasn’t until afterwards I realized how to apply for a job ‘the right way’. It became clear to me that I’ve failed in three main areas. First of all, I turned down every job description with a requirement I didn’t met. Second of all, when I applied for a job I did it like everybody else, either filled out a form or send a resume by email. Not that there’s anything wrong with these two application methods per se, however, unassisted they’re seemingly ineffective. And (thirdly), come to think of it, in my application I was focused on what I did and how the employer would benefit from that. But I was yet to realize that I couldn’t have been more mistaken…

What I did was to appeal to the rationality of the employer, by sticking to the facts. “I’ll be a good fit for this position because of my experience, skills and education etc.” – you should hire me!
But that’s not how it works (for 99% of applicants), ‘cause only if you’re in the top 1% you might get hired exclusively due to does features. But in my experience most people aren’t in the top 1% (shocker!). So what are the rest of us supposed to do?
Well, in my experience one should appeal, not to cold facts, but the fuzziest of things – feelings. However, it’s to be noted that I’m not talking about sympathy. I’m talking about the reason you get up in the morning. The reason why you do what you do, and why you can’t stop doing it.

To give an example, here’s my latest application: microsoft.simonsunde.dk
It was a job as a student worker in their marketing department. The idea was to illustrate my believes above my skills. I wanted them to know, that I should be working there, not because I was the best candidate (on paper), but because I shared their believes. And that’s far more to valuable than just a dutiful employee. That’s what I wanted to share with you. I’m not saying you should make a page like mine, but I’m telling you to put in the effort – be creative! Would you hire someone if you knew they were only applying for the pay, prestige or the network? (I know I wouldn’t). As a company you want to have people who believe what you believe. Employees that shares you vision. Not someone who doesn’t give a damn.

So lastly I want to encourage you guys to go on and apply for your dreams and be true to what you believe in. If you don’t know what that is, it might be a good starting point, before you apply for your next job.

(If you’re wondering my application did open some doors, but eventually I went other ways, because I went with my heart… which I’ll never regret!)